U.S. Envoy Position on Assad Hasn’t Changed

BEIRUT (AP/Hamodia) -

The United States’ ambassador to the United Nations says the U.S. position on Syrian President Bashar Assad has not changed: “There is going to have to be a political transition, and Assad will have to go.”

Samantha Power spoke to reporters Wednesday ahead of Friday’s major international conference on Syria in New York.

Power says the talks will look at the “gaps” between American and Russian and Iranian positions on the fate of Assad — and she says those gaps remain “very real.”

The U.N. Security Council is expected to consider a resolution later Friday endorsing the talks.

Power says the resolution would be the first high-profile gesture by the often-divided council to “show its unity around the importance of achieving a political settlement and a political transition.”

Power’s comments came a day after Secretary of State John Kerry, after a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, appeared to accept Russia’s long-standing demand that Assad’s future be determined by his own people. “The United States and our partners are not seeking so-called regime change,” Kerry had said after Tuesday’s meeting with Putin.