LOS CABOS, Mexico — President Obama said today that China are Russia are not aligned with the United States and its allies when it comes to resolving the escalating crisis in Syria, but that both countries “recognize the grave dangers of all-out civil war.”
“I do not think they condone the massacres that we’ve witnessed. I think they believe that everybody would be better served if Syria had a mechanism for ceasing the violence and creating a legitimate government,” the president told reporters at the close of the G20 summit.
Obama discussed Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the two-day meeting of world economic leaders.
“I wouldn’t suggest that at this point the United States and the rest of the international community are aligned with Russia and China,” Obama said.
The U.S. continues to say that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad needs to go, but Russia and China have so far refused to turn their backs on their ally.
“It is impossible to conceive of an orderly political transition that leaves Assad in power,” Obama said tonight.
“I don’t think it would be fair to say that the Russians and the Chinese are signed on at this point. I think what is fair to say is that they recognize that the current situation is grave, it does not serve their interests, it certainly does not serve the interests of the Syrian people and where we agree is that if we can help the Syrian people find a path to a resolution all of us would be better off,” Obama said.
–Jake Tapper and Mary Bruce