Syria gov't structure must stay to prevent Iraq redux, Kerry

'Assad must go, but also take part in transition'

02 December, 16:17

    (ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS, DECEMBER 2 - US Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that the government structure must be maintained in Syria.

    ''We do not want the armed forces, the healthcare system or other state services to fall to pieces,'' as this is, ''as we learned in Iraq'', he said, disastrous for keeping order, ensuring services and supporting legitimate governance. Speaking at a NATO ministerial meeting, he added that Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad needs to leave and that the war cannot end so long as he is in charge. He added that the US is encouraging the Riyadh conference expected to be held in the coming weeks as a way to unite the Syrian opposition so that they can choose their own leaders and negotiators to negotiate a transition with Assad and his government. Kerry said that Assad would have to cooperate with efforts for a transition that can be acceptable to all, saying that this is achievable if the countries meeting in Vienna remain focused on agreed principles and seek to implement them. (ANSAmed).

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