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Kerry Meets Syrian Opposition

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks to Syrian opposition coalition leader Mouaz al-Khatib. (Feb. 28, 2013)

The United States is committed to helping the Syrian people to achieve their goal of a peaceful, democratic, and inclusive future.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met February 28th with Syrian Opposition Coalition leader Sheikh Moaz Khatib. The Syrian Opposition Coalition, said Secretary Kerry, "[is] the legitimate voice of the Syrian people. And that stands in very stark contrast to the rule of [President] Bashar al-Assad, who long ago lost his legitimacy and who is out of time and who must be out of power."

Kerry Meets Syrian Opposition
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The United States and its allies are committed to helping the Syrian people to achieve their goal of a peaceful, democratic, and inclusive future.

Time and again the U.S. and its allies have called on Assad to halt his war machine. Instead, the world has seen his brutality increase. "The simple fact," said Secretary Kerry, "is that Assad cannot shoot his way out of this. And as he deludes himself in pursuit of the military solution, the United States, our partners, and now the Syrian Opposition Coalition, make a different choice. Our choice," said Mr. Kerry, "is a political solution."

This is the right path to peace, and it is one that can unite the Syrian people, rebuild a society that respects and protects them regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or gender. The United States and its allies believe the Syrian Opposition Coalition can successfully lead the way to a political transition, but they cannot do it alone.

That's why the United States will provide an additional $60 million in nonlethal assistance to support the Coalition’s operational needs as it continues to organize and work for a political transition and helps local councils and communities expand the delivery of basic goods and essential services in liberated areas. This is in addition to the more than $50 million that the U.S. is already providing to help the Syrian activists organize.

Separately, the U.S. will continue to provide humanitarian support for all civilians affected by this brutal conflict. The United States is providing $385 million for everything from emergency food, shelter, blankets, surgical equipment, and mobile clinics.

"No nation, no people, should live in fear of their so-called leaders," said Secretary Kerry. "And all people deserve freedom and the opportunity to live in peace and dignity and with justice. . . .We must meet this moment so that the people of Syria can live their full promise."