By Kyle Balluck - 02/16/14 11:54 AM EST
Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday blamed Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime for making progress in peace talks “even tougher.”
“None of us are surprised that the talks have been hard, and that we are at a difficult moment, but we should all agree that the Assad regime’s obstruction has made progress even tougher,” Kerry said.
“It was an example to all the world that while the regime obstructed and filibustered, the opposition demonstrated a courageous and mature seriousness of purpose and willingness to discuss all aspects of the conflict,” he added.
Kerry said the Syrian opposition put forward “a viable and well-reasoned roadmap for the creation of a transitional governing body and a viable path by which to move the negotiations forward.”
“The opposition delegation has regularly demonstrated that they are willing to engage constructively in the interests of all the Syrian people,” Kerry said.
“In sharp contrast, we have seen a refusal to engage on the part of the regime,” he added. “While it stalled in Geneva, the regime intensified its barbaric assault on its civilian population with barrel bombs and starvation. It has even gone as far as to add some of the opposition delegates at Geneva to a terrorist list and seize their assets.”
“This is reprehensible,” he added.
“We call on the regime's supporters to press the regime. In the end, they will bear responsibility if the regime continues with its intransigence in the talks and its brutal tactics on the ground.”
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Sunday that the U.S. tried to "create a very negative climate for dialogue in Geneva," according to the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Sunday blasted the Obama administration's policy toward Syria, saying all "viable" options have not been exhausted.
"The policy toward Syria has been an abysmal failure and a disgraceful one," McCain said on Sunday's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley.