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Kerry calls on Russia to push Syria back into negotiation

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Secretary of State Kerry while on a diplomatic visit in Indonesian spoke out today that Syria has ‘refused to open up one moment of discussion’ of a transitional government to replace Assad's regime, according to a Reuters report.

The second round of peace talks broke up on Saturday in Geneva with no agreement other than to set a third round of talks.

'Right now, Bashar al-Assad has not engaged in the discussions along the promised and required standard that both Russia spoke up for and the regime spoke up for,' the US secretary of state said during a press conference in Jakarta with the Indonesian foreign minister, Marty Natalegawa.

The war in Syria is entering into its fourth year in March. 'It is very clear that Bashar Assad is trying to win this on the battlefield instead of coming to the negotiating table in good faith,' Kerry said.

While tens of thousands of people remain cut off in Syria from humanitarian aid, Kerry stated, ‘the regime stonewalled. They did nothing except continue to drop barrel bombs on their own people and continue to destroy their own country. And I regret to say they are doing so with increased support from Iran, from Hezbollah and from Russia.’

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hit back, ‘In other words, a course is being set to move away from the negotiations track and once again place bets on a military scenario.’

The Geneva talks were set by joint agreement of Kerry and Lavrov last May when announced that they would seek to bring Assad's government and its opponents together to seek a solution.

The conflict began in March 2011 as a peaceful demonstration with protests against Assad in but later degenerated into a civil war in which more than 140,000 people have been killed, according to activists.

The sides are supposed to be seeking a solution based on a June 2012 document approved by Russia and the United States that called, among other things, for the creation of a transitional government body formed by mutual consent.

Kerry was stern and to the point in his words that Russia must be part of the solution, not the problem of continued arms delivery to Syria and must create an environment to lead to negotiation.

Kerry released a statement before leaving Indonesia: ‘The international community needs to use this recess in the Geneva talks to determine how to use this time most effectively in order to bring about a political solution. We still believe there is no military solution.'

Kerry will visit Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates as his next stop.

To view more articles on Secretary Kerry’s mission in Asia see the list below in Author’s suggestions and view the video atop this article explaining the Syrian peace talks in Geneva.

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