Obama Administration Has New Syria Diplomacy Timeline
After U.S. officials attempted to explain Secretary of State John Kerry’s invitation to Syria to abandon its chemical weapons as “rhetorical,” the Obama administration is now offering a timeline to make the case the top U.S. diplomat’s remarks may have been less accidental than previously acknowledged.
At a news conference with British Foreign Secretary William Hague Monday, Kerry appeared to give Syrian president Bashar al-Assad an opportunity to avoid a U.S. military strike.
“Turn it over, all of it, without delay,” Kerry said.
A senior administration official said Kerry’s comment in response to a reporter’s question came after weeks of discussions with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
As soon as Kerry made the remarks, the official said, he spoke with Lavrov in a pre-scheduled phone call. It was during that conversation, the official said, that Kerry demanded a plan from the Russians. Lavrov, the official said, promised a response.