Kerry: Defeating IS requires "Syrian and Arab" ground troops

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in Belgrade on Thursday it is necessary to engage "some Syrian and Arab" ground forces to fight against Islamic State.

Source: Beta, Tanjug

Extremists cannot be defeated with air strikes alone, he said in his address to the OSCE Ministerial Council.

Kerry also said there would be "no negotiations with terrorists," and called for determination in the intent to defeat the terrorist group. According to Tanjug, he "stressed it was necessary to empower and unite nations against Syrian terrorists."

AP reported that he said Islamic State can be defeated within months of a ceasefire "between Syria's government and moderate rebels," urging at the same time "the world to come together behind a peace strategy recently hashed out by the United States, Russia and other countries."

He thanked Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for expressing his condolences "to the American people," and offered his own condolences "to all the families that suffered due to terrorist actions," and also, over "the beheading, in a horrible way, of a Russian citizen."

Beta is reporting that Kerry, speaking about the situation in Ukraine, said it was necessary that Russia, "along with the separatists it supports, cooperates in implementing the Minsk agreement, and provide access to OSCE monitors."

Like EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who also addressed the conference, he said that elections according to Ukrainian law should be held in eastern Ukraine, with OSCE observers.

He estimated that the OSCE "achieved much" during its 40 years but that there were prolonged conflicts, and named "Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan."

The U.S. secretary of state pointed out during his address that "journalists are also threatened," that they are "brave, some of them on the front lines, while their names are unknown to all but their families."

"This year we celebrate 40 years of the Helsinki Final Act and everyone has a responsibility to uphold the standards of the document that serves as a landmark for human rights and territorial integrity of each member," Kerry said.

World

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