U.S. and Russia both committed to Syrian transition away from Assad
Kerry made the statement after speaking with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Le Grand Hotel in Paris. Kerry and Lavrov agreed that the best course of action in Syria would be a transitional government by mutual consent to let Syrians decide their country's fate.
"Both of us - Russia, the United States - are deeply committed and remain committed to trying to implement the Geneva one principles, which require a transitional government by mutual consent that has full executive authority in order to allow the people of Syria to decide the future of Syria," Kerry said. "We are committed to this. We both want to make this conference happen, if possible, together with many other countries that have joined up. And today we talked through a number of issues, sort of when the conference might take place, and obviously that depends on the participants and the decisions that need to be made together with our friends and allies and the United Nations."
Kerry said that he and Lavrov also discussed who the participants would be at the future conference, the humanitarian situation in Syria and concerns about the potential use of chemical weapons. Kerry said the U.S. and Russia would meet soon to work through a number of issues related to the future conference.
Lavrov said that implementing a transitional government would be difficult, but the two countries will do everything in their power to persuade both sides of the Syrian conflict.
"It's not an easy task," Lavrov said. "It's a very tall order, but I hope that when the United States and Russian Federation take this kind of initiative, the chances for success are bigger, and we will do everything in our power to use those chances and to make them realize."