Chemical weapon removal process in Syria adds no legitimacy to Assad

The current proposed agreement to remove chemical weapons from Syria and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad does not give legitimacy to Assad's ability to govern, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday.

Kerry made the remarks on Monday during a press conference with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague in Paris. He said that removal of chemical weapons from Syria takes away from Assad one of the tools he used to subjugate and oppress his people. Kerry also emphasized that nothing in the process is meant to give legitimacy to Assad's leadership in Syria.

"Nothing in what we have done is meant to offer any notion to Assad that there's some legitimacy to his process, that he has some extended period as a leader, so-called," Kerry said. "We make it clear that Assad has lost all legitimacy to be possible to govern this country, and we remain committed to the opposition and committed to the Geneva process which calls for a transition government with full executive authority by mutual consent of the parties that will lay out the structure for the new Syria."

Kerry said he understood that removing the chemical weapons still leaves Assad with artillery and airplanes. He said the U.S. will do everything in its power to push toward the political resolution needed to stop the violence in Syria.

"We will do everything in our power to help the people of Syria to get out from under this chaos and violence that is creating such a human catastrophe for all of us not only to witness but to have to deal with," Kerry said.