U.S. position on Assad has not changed

Despite recent positive comments made by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry about Bashar al-Assad, the U.S. State Department said on Monday that the position on Assad has not changed.

Marie Harf, the deputy spokesperson for the State Department, made the remarks on Monday during her daily press briefing. Harf responded to a question related to Kerry's comments about the cooperation of Syria's president in the destruction of the country's chemical arsenal. She said the U.S. continues to hold the position that Assad no longer has legitimacy to lead Syria.

"The fact is that our position on Assad hasn't changed," Harf said. "As we go through this process of destroying Syria's chemical weapons, the regime or an eventual transitional government will have the responsibility - some responsibilities, right, for allowing access and assisting in the destruction through allowing access and allowing inspectors. But our position on the fact that he must go has not changed, and this in no way is an indication that he can remain in power."

When asked if Assad should get credit for cooperating by allowing inspectors into Syria, Harf said that all parties in Syria share responsibility for living up to international obligations.

"All sides here have responsibilities under U.N. Security Council resolution 2118, under the Geneva framework, under (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) resolution, all sides have responsibilities here, and everybody is looking to the Syrians, to the U.N., to the - to everyone, to live up to those responsibilities," Harf said.