WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- The White House on Friday tried to play down Secretary of State John Kerry's remarks about an ongoing review of the administration's Syrian policy, saying "it's not like this is a new review."
"Secretary Kerry was reiterating what has always been the case, which is that the president is always looking at options on policy matters like Syria," spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at a daily news briefing. "As a general principle, the president is always asking his team to evaluate where we are and where we can be."
During his visit in Beijing on Friday, Kerry told reporters that President Barack Obama was concerned about the deterioration in the humanitarian situation in Syria as well as slow progress in peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition, and had asked his national security team for "various" policy options that had not yet been presented to the president.
"But that evaluation, by necessity, given the circumstances, is taking place at this time," the top American envoy said.
"This is not a one-time thing, it's not like this is a new review," Carney insisted, noting the president is "always looking at other options or always asking for all the options that might be available to him."
"But I wouldn't see this as some new announcement or new consideration," he added.
Obama, who has ruled out military operation against Syria for now, voiced frustration at the stalemate in Syria on Tuesday at a joint press conference with visiting French President Francois Hollande.