Kerry: Russia didn't best US in Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry flatly denied that Russia has bested the United States in Syria when asked point-blank Thursday during a visit to Jordan.

President Obama's decision to back off military strikes and instead support a Russia-backed effort to destroy Syrian President Bashar Assad's chemical weapons arsenal has angered U.S. allies across the Middle East. Kerry, in Jordan for the first time since this summer, said the administration was “very pleased” to join the initiative from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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“I don’t think it’s a question of one besting the other. Those are unnecessary judgments to be made about relationships,” Kerry said. “Sometimes, countries can find mutual interests that have very positive impact, and in this case that is precisely what we are doing.

“And I think it’s very good, not just for the beneficiaries directly, but for the rest of the world to see our two nations working together in that effect.”

Kerry was in Jordan to offer support for the country's efforts to resettle hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and to help revive stalling Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Kerry is scheduled to return to Jerusalem on Friday for more talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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