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Kerry restates goal for 'Geneva 2' conference on Syria

By CNN Staff
updated 2:26 PM EST, Thu January 16, 2014
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry makes a statement on Syria on January 16 in Washington, DC.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry makes a statement on Syria on January 16 in Washington, DC.

Washington (CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated Thursday that the goal of a long-planned second international meeting in Geneva on Syria will be to implement the communique that was the fruit of the first such meeting in 2012.

"It is about establishing a process essential to the formation of a transition government body -- governing body -- with full executive powers established by mutual consent," he told reporters.

The only way to end the civil war that has created a humanitarian disaster and seeded the country with extremists will be for the Syrian people's voices to be heard, he said.

And any names put forward for leadership of Syria's transition must, according to the terms of Geneva 1, be agreed to by both the opposition and the regime led by President Bashar al-Assad, he said. "That is the very definition of mutual consent," he continued. "This means that any figure that is deemed unacceptable by either side, whether President or a member of the opposition cannot be a part of the future."

But he said it "defies logic that those whose brutality created" the current situation could lead Syria toward a better future.

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