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Kerry Discounts Syrian Suggestion of Talks on Unity Government | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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In this In this March 12, 2016 file photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem sits beneath a portrait of Syrian regime head Bashar Assad as he speaks during a press conference in Damascus, Syria, Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday dismissed a suggestion previously presented by pro-regime Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem that the ruling regime is prepared to take part in a unity government, given its continued bombing of the city of Aleppo.

“The Assad regime’s statements are almost meaningless at this point in time,” Kerry told reporters in Cartagena, on a trip for the signing of a peace deal between the Colombian government and FARC opposition fighters.

“So we will have to see whether or not anything can develop in the next days that indicates a different approach from the Russians and from the regime,” Kerry said.

A Syrian regime-staged offensive to recapture all of Aleppo, with Russian air support and Iranian support on the ground, has been accompanied by bombing that residents describe as unprecedented in its ferocity.

“I don’t think the opposition is going to be particularly excited about having a negotiation when they’re being bombed and starved,” Kerry said.

In an interview with Lebanon-based al-Mayadeen TV, aired on Monday, Moalem said the Damascus government has proposed a political roadmap that could put an end to more than five years of war in the Arab country.

He said Damascus would support the idea of holding a referendum on a new constitution followed by parliamentary elections and the formation of a unity government.

“While they’re pounding Aleppo, dropping indiscriminate bombs, killing women and children, talk of a unity government is pretty complicated,” Kerry said.

Source: Reuters