Secretary of State John Kerry Interview With Martha Raddatz from Doha Transcript


RADDATZ: Syria. What's the policy there. Does not seem to be working either. Assad remains. What would you like see done differently?

KERRY: Well, let's look at where we've been and where we are today. The president began the process by leading the effort to put in place sanctions that make it more difficult for President Assad to fuel his fighting machine. Secondly, the president working with Secretary Clinton, worked to pull together the Syrian opposition. Who are they? How coordinated are they? How united are they? The president has worked on that effort to get to a point now where there is much greater clarity. There's defined leadership, there's a unified voice.

And then the president directed me to come to Rome. It was America that pulled together this meeting which has now ratcheted up the level of support and focus by every country involved. Some are giving lethal aid, some are not.

RADDATZ: Would you rule out giving lethal aid? (CROSS TALK)

KERRY: Let me just finish. The point is that there is a holistic, united effort now that is focused on trying to save lives in Syria, and make it clear to President Assad that we are determined and that he needs to think hard about his calculation in raining scuds down on his population.

RADDATZ: You don't think it's been clear before?

KERRY: I think he has doubted the resolve of the international community. I think he has thought up until now that he can simply have Hezbollah and Iran and some of the weapons coming from Russia, that he could sit there and shoot it out. And if that's his calculation this new increase of effort is to make it clear to him he's wrong. And he needs to come to the table according to what he, even the Russians have signed on to. The Russians have agreed in Geneva that there needs to be a transition government by mutual consent on both sides with full executive power.

That does not include Assad as the executive running the government. And that will lead to the elections and to the opportunity for all the Syrian people to participate. And one thing I want to emphasize – for all of the Alawites who are fearing for their future, for the Christians, or the Druze, or any group there, Sunni, Shiite – they all need to know that the vision of Moaz Khatib and the Syrian opposition, the promise of the Syrian opposition is to have a Syria in which all voices are represented and protected.

RADDATZ: Would you rule out lethal aid in the future?

KERRY: That's not my job to do. That's the president of the United States' decision and I don't think this is a president who takes any option off the table, but for the moment he feels like what we're doing is the right policy.

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