Assad must be ousted as part of orderly transition: Kerry
AP PhotoU.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must leave his post as part of an “orderly transition,” not immediately, marking a change in the U.S. position.
“We need to have an orderly transition, a managed transition, so that you don’t have a fear for retribution, loss of life and revenge,” Kerry said during an interview on CNN, urging a leadership change over a “reasonable period of time.”
The top U.S. diplomat also said if Assad left more quickly, it could lead to an “implosion” that would strip the country of any civil life.
He added, however, the Syrian leader has a “complete lack of legitimacy.”
Kerry said in his interview one day before the start of the Russian military move in Syria that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s involvement in the issue was a possible “opportunity” for the United States.
Russia’s presence in Syria means Moscow could find itself in a “complicated” situation that could affect its policy toward the country and Assad, he said.