How Obama’s war in Syria has cost Democrats and their voters
- by admin
The White House has claimed it is working on a plan to roll back the death sentences handed down to more than 1,400 people who were accused of participating in the crackdown in Syria’s civil war.
The plan would require the government to release the names of those it has imprisoned, and to set a new deadline for the government’s public information office.
But the White House said it is “confident” that the plan will succeed, given the political climate surrounding the Syrian crisis.
In an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, President Barack Obama acknowledged the administration has “some work to do”.
“We’re certainly not done with our plan.
We have some work to get done,” Obama said.
“But we are confident that we can make this plan work, and we think it is achievable.”
It comes after the White, House and State departments announced last week that they have agreed to release all those held by the government.
The news was widely seen as an indication that Obama will try to reach an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin to ease a Russian blockade of Syria.
In the wake of the announcement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who was in Washington for talks with Obama, urged both sides to reach a compromise, telling reporters on Thursday: “The Russian side is in favor of this, the US side is not in favor.
The Russian side supports the release of all prisoners.”
The State Department and White House declined to comment on the Russian position.
The White house’s plan to release those held is also likely to anger Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has called the release “not a fair measure”.
Putin said in a statement on Thursday that the release plan “violates international law and will never be implemented”.
Putin also said that any plan to try to negotiate a prisoner swap with the Syrian government would “never get implemented”.
“It will never work.
It will never achieve anything,” Putin said.
On Friday, Russian state media reported that Russia had requested that the US lift its blockade of Damascus on Wednesday, following a call by Secretary of State John Kerry to Syrian opposition leaders in the UN Security Council on Wednesday.
Kerry said he had discussed the issue with Lavrov on Wednesday evening.
“We are in close contact with Russia and we will continue to do so,” he said.
But he also stressed that the U.S. has a “red line” against any attempt to free prisoners in Syria.
“There are no negotiations or any concessions.
That is our red line,” Kerry said.
The United States has been trying to broker a deal with the Assad regime since 2013, when President Obama agreed to negotiate with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in return for his support in a U.N.-brokered peace process.
The talks, which collapsed after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the U,S., began bombing the Syrian regime, have dragged on for years.
Kerry has been meeting with Russian Foreign Secretary Sergey Lavrov twice a week in recent weeks, but this is the first time he has met directly with Putin since the Syrian conflict began.
Kerry had already said on Thursday the United States is “very confident” that it will reach a solution to the crisis.
Obama has previously said that it is time for the Syrian people to make their own decisions about their future.
“It is time to have a national dialogue that has an open, honest and accountable process,” he told the AP.
“And this means having the Syrian political process, with all its problems and all its complexities, and it means also having a Syrian government that is accountable.”
The White, State and Pentagon departments did not respond to a request for comment.
On Wednesday, the State Department released a list of those detained in Syria who were convicted of participating or supporting the crackdown on protesters in the country’s capital, Damascus.
The list, which did not include those who had been released from jail, said it included a total of 686 people, including “former officials, members of political opposition groups, opposition activists and other human rights activists”.
The list also said “approximately 100 individuals and entities” had been arrested in recent months.
The group was given the name “Syrian Opposition Council”.
It did not specify how many people had been charged or arrested.
The White House has claimed it is working on a plan to roll back the death sentences handed down to…