Kerry proves once again Obama has no ability to pick competent people. He has nothing more to concede which effectively terminates his ability to negotiate. Now that’s really embarrassing. I can hear the laughing in the Kremlin from five thousand miles away. Kerry should to retire and focus on his yachting skills or something.
Scrambling to resuscitate a nearly dead truce in Syria, the Obama administration has again been forced to turn to Russia for help, with little hope for the desired U.S. outcome.
At stake are thousands of lives and the fate of a feeble peace process essential to the fight against the Islamic State group, and Secretary of State John Kerry has appealed once more to his Russian counterpart for assistance in containing and reducing the violence, particularly around city of Aleppo.
Kerry spoke at length on Friday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to that end, and had been hoping to meet with Lavrov soon, according to U.S. officials. Kerry was scheduled to arrive in Switzerland late Sunday for talks with U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, and planned to return to Washington on Monday.
But Lavrov was not expected to be in Geneva, complicating Kerry’s efforts to make the case directly to the Russians for more pressure on their Syrian government allies to stop or at least limit attacks in Aleppo.
The State Department said Kerry, in his meetings, would “review ongoing efforts to reaffirm the cessation of hostilities nationwide in Syria, obtain the full humanitarian access to which the Syrian government committed and support a political transition.”
Specific, viable options to achieve those broad goals are limited, and Friday’s announcement of a new, partial cease-fire that does not include Aleppo underscored the difficulty Kerry faced.
U.S. and other officials described that initiative, brokered mainly by Russia and the United States as co-chairs of the International Syria Support Group, as a “reinforcement” of the February truce, now largely in tatters, that they hope to extend from Damascus and the capital’s suburbs and the coastal province of Latakia to other areas. More