U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday accepted Russia’s long-standing demand that President Bashar Assad’s future be determined by his own people […]
The United States and our partners are not seeking so-called regime change,” Kerry told reporters in the Russian capital after meeting President Vladimir Putin. […]
Kerry’s declarations crystallized the evolution in U.S. policy on Assad over the last several months, as the Islamic State group’s growing influence in the Middle East has taken priority.
President Barack Obama first called on Assad to leave power in the summer of 2011, with “Assad must go,” being a consistent rallying cry. Later, American officials allowed that he wouldn’t have to resign on “Day One” of a transition. Now, Assad’s stay could be indefinite.
Russia, by contrast, has remained consistent in its view that no foreign government could demand Assad’s departure and that Syrians would have to negotiate matters of leadership among themselves. […]