Kerry attends meeting on Syria in Amman, Jordan
The official conducted a press briefing via teleconference on Tuesday with multiple members of the press. The meeting will include the same group of countries and foreign ministers that recently attended a meeting in Istanbul on April 20. Officials at the meeting will review the ongoing crisis in Syria and discuss future steps to move forward.
"(The meeting is) basically to review where we are on Syria, and obviously there's going to be a discussion both about the situation on the ground in the country; I'm sure there will be a discussion of the refugee situation since the Turkish and Jordanian foreign ministers will be there," the official said. "There will certainly be a discussion about Geneva, and there'll be a discussion about what things our countries need to be doing in the days and weeks ahead. So it is part of an ongoing set of discussions. It is not by itself a particularly - it's not a place where we're coming to make big decisions because we're in touch with these countries regularly anyway. So I would urge that people understand it's part of a consultation and consensus-building effort rather than a make-or-break summit or some such thing."
The official said the meeting would help the countries with a stake in Syria to come up with a political solution to the conflict.
"This meeting tomorrow in Amman is to bring all of the key players in the region as well as the key partners in Europe and the United States together to talk about strategy," the official said. "And so what I would suggest to you is that for sure the Saudis and the Turks have a lot of concerns about what's going on in Syria. I don't know if arms are directly on their agenda, but I think all of the countries that are meeting tomorrow, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, have already expressed their support for a political solution. They did that in Istanbul in their joint declaration. They also expressed their strong support for helping the Supreme Military Command and General Idris as one of the things necessary to help make a political solution possible by more effectively changing the balance on the ground."
At the previous meeting in Istanbul, Kerry said the U.S. would send further nonlethal aid to the armed Syrian opposition. The official said the next tranche of assistance must be approved by Congress, but the U.S. continues to deliver food supplies and medical supplies.