Kerry: Assad must accept peace conference terms

AP News
Posted: Jan 17, 2014 10:56 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is warning that Syria's government must accept the goal of an upcoming peace conference in achieving a political transition there.

Kerry says otherwise, Syria faces more armed opposition and increased international pressure.

The Syrian civil war has killed more than 100,000 people. Kerry's speaking in advance of a conference in Switzerland next week aimed at ending the war. He's responding to doubts that the government of President Bashar Assad has accepted the conference's objectives.

Kerry says Assad cannot be part of a political solution in Syria, as his opponents would never stop fighting him.

He doesn't give specifics, but Kerry says the U.S. is "not out of options" to increase pressure and, quote, "further change the calculation" of the Syrian government if it doesn't cooperate.