Secretary Kerry met today with Syrian Opposition Coalition President Jarba at the Department of State. He and President Jarba had a productive discussion on the full range of our shared concerns in Syria, including empowering the moderate political and armed opposition, curbing the rise of extremism, completing the work of removing chemical weapons, and easing humanitarian suffering.
As part of our continued efforts to bolster the moderate Syrian opposition and help the Coalition serve the interests of all Syrians, the Secretary also discussed with President Jarba some additional measures we are taking to support the Coalition, local communities inside Syria, and members of the moderate, armed opposition. These steps include our announcement that the Coalition’s representative offices in the United States are now foreign missions; working with Congress to provide more than $27 million in new non-lethal assistance to the Syrian opposition; stepping up deliveries of non-lethal assistance to commanders in the Free Syrian Army to enhance their logistical capabilities; and, as announced earlier today by the Department of the Treasury, imposing new sanctions and restrictions against members of the regime and its supporters who have suppressed the Syrian people.
Additionally, the Secretary reaffirmed to President Jarba that the United States remains committed to working towards a negotiated political solution that puts an end to the violence and ultimately leads to a representative government that is responsive to the needs of the Syrian people. The United States has led the international community’s efforts to advance a political transition, and the Secretary commended the Coalition’s commitment to that goal.