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Secretary of State John Kerry tells CBS News that the U.S. will have to negotiate a political solution with Syria's Bashar al-Assad to end the four-year civil war. Rough Cut (no Reporter Narration)
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad said Monday that only Syrians can decide his future — apparently dismissing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's remark that the U.S. would be willing to talk with Assad to help broker a political resolution to the country's civil war.
RIYADH (Reuters) - A remark by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that President Bashar al-Assad should be included in negotiations on a Syrian political transition provoked alarm and dismay on Monday among commentators close to Gulf Arab governments opposed to his rule.
Any "talk about the future of the Syrian president is for Syrian people alone," he stressed.
The Syrian president, however, said he welcomes any “sincere” change of stance on the part of the countries which have for long provided "logistical, financial and military support to terrorists," adding that they should first stop their support for terrorists in the violence-wracked country.
“When we look at the theft of oil from Syria, the theft of oil from Iraq, the theft of artifacts, every time that commodity of oil and artifacts are stolen, someone is transporting them… someone is buying [them], some bank is settling the accounts,” he said.
“We have to realize [that] all of the people who are involved into this are also supporting terrorism,” he noted. “And they too must be liable to civil and criminal penalties for their support.[..]
The United States and its regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - are supporting the militants operating inside the country.