The United States says Syria’s embattled president Bashar al-Assad should not be part of any transitional government for the country.
The announcement was made by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is on a trip to Europe to build a consensus on tackling the Syrian civil war.
At a meeting with Jordan’s Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh in Rome, Kerry said:
“The foreign minister will work with us, as they have, to try to bring all the parties to the table so that we can effect a transition government by mutual consent of both sides, which clearly means that in our judgement President Assad will not be a component of that transitional government.”
Jordan is feeling the huge impact of the refugee crisis created by the conflict in the neighbouring country.
Nasser Judeh explained: “We have ten percent of our population today in the form of Syrian refugees. That’s expected to rise to about 20 to 25 percent, given the current traits, by the end of this year – and possibly to about 40 percent by the middle of 2014.”
Jordan says around 2,000 Syrians cross its border every day.