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U.S. to increase support to Syrian rebels if Assad refuses peace talks: Kerry


09:25, May 23, 2013

AMMAN, May 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that the support of the United States and its allies for Syrian rebels will continue to grow if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad rejected to negotiate on a political solution to end the conflict.

Speaking at a joint press conference here in Amman with Jordan' s Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, Kerry said there is an urgent need to end the killings in Syria, adding that Assad's forces have killed more than 100,000 Syrians since the start of the unrest.

"If Assad refuses to negotiate on the proposals of the Geneva conference that calls for a transitional government in Syria, we will increase our support for the rebels," he said.

The U.S. allies in the Arab world and Europe will also increase support to rebels if Assad rejects to come to peace talks, Kerry added.

The U.S. top diplomat also condemned the role of Hezbollah in the Syrian conflict, which he labeled as destructive, noting that Hezbollah is targeting Syrians and has sent thousands of fighters to the war-torn country.

The Syrian president will not have a military victory although the government forces had some few gains on the ground over the past few days, Kerry contended, stressing that the meeting of the Friends of Syria nations in Amman is meant to end the cycle of violence in Syria.

For his part, the Jordanian minister said the Arab kingdom's stance on Syrian issue is constant and reiterated the need for a political solution to end the conflict and stop violence.

He added that Jordan is affected by the Syrian crisis but does not interfere in the Syrian affairs.

Judeh also said the participation of non-Syrian members and radical groups in the Syrian conflict represent a major concern of Jordan, adding there is continued cooperation between the United States and Jordan to protect the interests of the kingdom.

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