Consequences for Russia for Geneva talks failure: US

Consequences for Russia for Geneva talks failure: US

State Dept. says Russia's inaction on Syria will put more pressure on entire region

By Esra Kaymak Avci

WASHINGTON (AA) – A failure to get the Syria peace talks back on track and humanitarian assistance to the needy will put pressure on the entire region and have "very real consequences" for Russia, the U.S. said Wednesday.

"Certainly there's going to be more pressure put on already pressurized refugee situations in Turkey and in Jordan, which all puts more pressure on the whole region," State Department spokesman John Kirby said during a press briefing.

"So there are very real consequences for Russia and the region if they don't start to use their influence in a productive way."

According to Kirby, those consequences include more war in Syria, a worsening migration crisis and the potential attraction of terrorist elements in Syria and Russia.

"I don't think it's fair to say that just because the clock is ticking on the administration we still don't have options available to us that are real, that can be consequential," he stressed.

However, he did not give further details on what the alternative plans were of the U.S. on the issue.

The State Department was grilled by reporters during the daily briefing, where the U.S. was criticized for hitting a "brick wall" in its efforts to move the process forward for a political solution for Syria.

The Geneva peace talks between Syrian government officials and the Syrian opposition started earlier this year. However, no success has been achieved as the opposition has preconditions which are not fulfilled. Another dispute is whether the political transition should be with or without Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The U.S. was also criticized for talking about not having any more patience for the current situation to change in Syria without changing its policy.

The U.S. had committed that it would support the UN's immediate delivery of airdrops into besieged Syrian towns as of June 1. However, no airdrops has since been delivered. The humanitarian aid assistance is part of preconditions by the opposition.

Kirby said the U.S. continued to expect Russia to use its influence with Assad and help the conflict in Syria to be solved by making sure that a four-month-old cease-fire deal is fully adhered to by the regime.

"To help us ensure that humanitarian access can get to communities that are still in need and to help us get the political talks back onto a track, a successful track," Kirby said.

The statement comes after Secretary of State John Kerry's remarks earlier Wednesday in Norway where he said that U.S. patience is very limited as to whether Assad is going to be held accountable for the five-year-old war in Syria.

Meanwhile, the spokesman said the U.S. has settled approximately 4,000 Syrian refugees.

He added that the administration was working to achieve its goal of accepting 10,000 refugees within the 2016 fiscal year that ends in September.

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