WEST KURDISTAN (SYRIA) Assad & U.S. partners rebuff Kerry’s comments on negotiations

On Monday, the State Department walked back comments made by Secretary of State John Kerry that suggested that the United States would be willing to support negotiations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “[T]here has always been a need for representatives of the Assad regime to be a part of this process,” State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said yesterday. “It has never been and would not be Assad who would negotiate.” U.S. coalition partners France and Turkey also pushed back on Kerry’s statement, saying that Assad could not be part of a negotiated transition. In a statement on Monday, Assad was dismissive of Kerry’s comments. “Any talk on the future of the Syrian president is for the Syrian people and all the declarations from outside do not concern us,” he said. Read more: www.mesop.de http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/bashar-assad-john-kerry-syria-civil-war-116101.html?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=%2AMideast%20Brief&utm_campaign=2014_The%20Middle%20East%20Daily / http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/16/us-mideast-crisis-kerry-assad-idUSKBN0MC16120150316?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=%2AMideast%20Brief&utm_campaign=2014_The%20Middle%20East%20Daily