Kerry: Anti-Islamic State Effort Moving in Right Direction
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday the international effort to defeat the Islamic State group is "moving in the right direction," but he cautioned more must be done to support stabilization in Libya and Iraq.
Kerry spoke at the opening of a ministerial meeting in Rome where representatives from about 20 countries came to talk about ways to boost the anti-Islamic State campaign.
He highlighted the risk of the militants taking control in Libya with its vast oil resources, but said that a near agreement on a new national unity government would go a long way to preventing that scenario.
Kerry also called attention to the humanitarian situation in Syria, saying it is a "catastrophe" not seen since World War 2. He said nations need to "speak out powerfully" about the need for a cease-fire, the end of sieges and urgent deliveries of aid to every area where people are in need.
Fragile Syria Talks Go Into Second Day
Fragile indirect negotiations to end Syria’s nearly five-year-old conflict went into a second day Tuesday in Geneva with both sides accusing each other of lacking good will.
U.N. Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, went into talks Tuesday with a delegation representing the government of President Bashar al-Assad, a meeting that he had postponed from Monday while he convinced the opposition to stay on.
De Mistura declared the talks officially under way late Monday, following a two-hour meeting with the opposition.
“As far as we are concerned, their arrival to the Palais des Nations and initiating the discussion with us is the official beginning of the Geneva talks,” the U.N. envoy said.
The formal start came exactly one week after they were originally scheduled to begin.
Talks were delayed by discussions of who should represent the opposition, then by an opposition boycott and the opposition’s demands for an end to air strikes and a lifting of blockades on rebel-held areas.