Kerry: Russia didn't best US in Syria

Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryA lesson of the Trump, Tlaib, Omar, Netanyahu affair Trump's winning weapon: Time The Memo: O'Rourke looks to hit reset button MORE 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 PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters Can we do business with Kim Jong Un? Leadership analysis might give clues Russian defense minister: 'We won't do anything' in Europe unless US places missiles there MORE.

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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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