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Obama: Syria Civil War Unlikely to End Soon Obama: Syria Civil War Unlikely to End Soon Obama: Syria Civil War Unlikely to End Soon Obama: Syria Civil War Un...

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Defense

Obama: Syria Civil War Unlikely to End Soon

The president reiterated a push for greater humanitarian access in the country.

President Obama held a press conference with French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday.(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

photo of Jordain Carney
February 11, 2014

President Obama said Tuesday that the Syrian peace talks are still "far from" achieving their goals.

"The first Geneva process committed to a transition process that would preserve and protect the state of Syria, that would accommodate the various sectarian interests inside Syria … and would allow us to return to some semblance of normalcy…. We are far from achieving that yet," Obama said at a press conference with French President Francois Hollande.

Diplomats from 11 countries pointed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government as the reason for a lack of serious progress in the round of peace talks late last month. Obama acknowledged on Tuesday that "Assad's regime wasn't particularly responsive" during the talks.

 

Another round of talks are ongoing in Geneva.

Hollande and Obama are pressing the Syrian government to open access for humanitarian workers to deliver aid, but a U.N. resolution backing such an effort faces an uphill battle in the Security Council.

"It is not just the Syrians that are responsible—the Russians as well if they are blocking this sort of resolution," Obama said.

The president stressed that the U.S. and its allies are "continuing to explore every possible avenue to solve this problem," and that he reserves "the right to exercise military action … but that has to be deployed wisely."

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