US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with his British counterpart William Hague on Wednesday to discuss Syria as Washington struggles to organize a peace conference to end the conflict.
Plans to bring together the Syrian regime of President Bashar Al Assad and the opposition at talks in Geneva have so far failed to come to fruition, and Hague at the weekend warned regime gains on the ground raised new hurdles.President Barack Obama has asked his national security team, which includes Kerry, to “look at all options” to end the fighting, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki reiterated Tuesday, adding however there would be no American “boots on the ground.”
Kerry postponed a visit to the Middle East this week to attend meetings on Syria in Washington, amid reports that the Obama administration is thinking of ending its refusal to arm the Syrian opposition.
He is also trying to organize peace talks, but Psaki stressed “we’re not going to have the conference just to have the conference.
Assad’s forces, backed by thousands of Hezbollah fighters, have been emboldened by recent gains on the ground against the opposition, and Hague said Sunday that it was “worrying and depressing” that the so-called Geneva talks were not taking place this month.
The French foreign ministry on Tuesday also warned that the Syrian conflict is at a “turning point” after the fall of Qusayr last week, and with regime seeking to reclaim Aleppo.
Both France and Britain have already called for nations to start arming the Syrian opposition to help tip the balance of power on the ground.