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Kerry softens deadline for Syria ‘transition deal’

Under a UNSC plan, Bashar al-Assad’s regime and his opposition had until August to agree the outlines of a political process

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US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the August 1 date set for Syria's warring parties to agree the framework of a political transition is a "target" not a deadline.

Under the terms of the peace plan agreed by the UN Security Council, Bashar al-Assad’s regime and his opposition had until August to agree the outlines of a political process.

But, speaking after a meeting of the International Syria Support Group, Kerry said: “The August date is not a drop date, it’s a target date, and we all recognize that if we make significant progress and we're moving we will respect that process.”

Saudi on ‘Plan B’ on Syria

Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday that if President Assad did not abide with efforts to establish a truce across Syria country, alternatives would need to be looked at.

“We believe we should have moved to a ‘Plan B’ a long time ago,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters after a meeting of foreign governments in Vienna.

“The choice about moving to an alternative plan, the choice about intensifying the military support (to the opposition) is entirely with the Bashar regime. If they do not respond to the treaties of the international community...then we will have to see what else can be done.”

(With Reuters)