U.S. Special Envoy for Syria Michael Ratney visited Moscow today, August 28, for consultations with Russian officials on the ongoing conflict in Syria. These meetings in Moscow are part of consultations Ratney is conducting to follow up on Secretary Kerry’s recent discussions with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in Doha and Kuala Lumpur, as well as ongoing efforts to support the Syrian opposition and to work toward greater convergence of views among both foreign governments and the Syrians themselves on a political transition in Syria and the defeat of extremists.
The United States remains strongly committed to achieving a genuine, negotiated political transition away from Bashar al-Asad that brings an end to the violence and leads to a future that fulfills Syrians’ aspirations for freedom and dignity. The United States supports the Syrian people’s aspirations for a democratic, inclusive, and unified Syria. The regime of Bashar alAsad has violently suppressed what began as a peaceful protest movement in 2011. Asad has proven through his brutal and repressive tactics that he has lost all legitimacy, and he must go as part of a genuine political transition.
The United States continues to lead international efforts to defeat ISIL in both Syria and Iraq. We are cognizant that Asad’s continued tenure fuels extremism and inflames tensions in the region. That is why a political transition is not only necessary for the good of the people of Syria, but an important part of the fight to defeat the extremists. The Special Envoy’s visit to Moscow provided an opportunity to discuss these issues with Russian officials.