Kerry Expresses Confidence that Syria Moderates are receiving Arms
Top U.S. diplomat John Kerry, the Secretary of State, said he was confident that more and more weapons are reaching the moderate opposition groups inside Syria. Kerry attended a joint press conference with Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani the Prime Minister of Qatar, at the al-Wajba Palace in Doha.
Kerry said that the U.S. and Qatar have tried to tighten sanctions and help the rebels in Syria build effectiveness and unity they need to be successful in changing the government’s tactics.
Kerry’s visit to Qatar is the last of his nine country tour that started in Europe and ended in the Middle East. It is the first international tour Kerry has taken since he was confirmed in January as the Secretary of State.
Even though the U.S. thus far has not given rebels in Syria any arms, last week the Secretary of State announced the U.S. would be providing $60 million in assistance that is non-lethal to the opposition within Syria, including food and medical aid.
At the time, Kerry said the U.S. had now, for just the first time, directed much needed assistance directly to the Syrian opposition. Sheikh Hamad sounded optimistic about Syria.
He said the majority of the international community has now started working in a more constructive way, but said if other countries had been more diligent in their work, over this same issue in the past, the government of President Bashar al-Assad would have been toppled already.
The Sheikh spoke harshly about the al-Assad government, describing the president of Syria as a terrorist who is currently killing his own people.
Qatar as well as Saudi Arabia has been amongst the most outspoken advocates for providing arms to the opposition in Syria.