Author Topic: State Dep’t Denies Kerry Called US Syria Policy a Failure or Advocated Arming Rebels  (Read 223 times)

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Offline flowers

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( – The State Department Monday pushed back against reports that Secretary of State John Kerry told a group of senators that the administration’s Syria policy is failing, and that with the al-Qaeda threat “getting out of hand” it was time to arm moderate elements among the rebels.

Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a daily briefing that some senators attending the closed-door meeting on the sidelines of a security conference in Germany this past weekend “may have been projecting what they wanted to hear, and what they themselves wanted to project about their own views.”

Psaki, who was present during the meeting, denied specifically that Kerry at any time during the meeting raised the issue of “lethal assistance for the opposition.”

“At no point did he state, what I think was quoted, that the process has failed,” she added. “They did have a discussion about a range of options that the administration has always had at its disposal.”

Two influential Republicans among a bipartisan group of more than a dozen senators who met with Kerry in Munich gave a briefing afterwards to three news outlets.

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told the Washington Post, Daily Beast and Bloomberg that Kerry said the administration’s approach was not working.

They said he cited the failure of eight days of talks between regime and rebel representatives in Switzerland; the regime’s failure to meet its commitments on surrendering chemical weapons; a malign Russian role in the crisis; a growing threat to the U.S. homeland posed by al-Qaeda affiliates among the Syrian rebels.

“[Kerry] acknowledged that the chemical weapons [handover] is being slow-rolled; the Russians continue to supply arms [and that] we are at a point now where we are going to have to change our strategy,” the outlets quoted Graham as saying. “He openly talked about supporting arming the rebels. He openly talked about forming a coalition against al-Qaeda because it’s a direct threat.”

Offline rangerrebew

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They also said Benghazi was caused by reaction to a video made in America.
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