A picture of Syria's President Bashar Assad (R) is seen during the "Syria, on the outskirts of Dawn" photo exhibition, marking the fourth anniversary of the Syrian crisis, at the Opera house in Damascus March 15, 2015. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
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Syria's President Bashar Assad said Monday he was waiting for action from Washington after Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged talks with Damascus were necessary to end the country's conflict.The weekend remarks by the top U.S. envoy were quickly clarified when his spokeswoman said Washington's policy was unchanged and Assad had no role in Syria's future. Assad has long accused Washington of "supporting terrorism" because of its backing for the Syrian opposition, and repeated Monday that any shift in policy required an end to that.Kerry stressed that any negotiations would be in the context of the Geneva communique, a document produced after a first round of talks between regime and opposition that calls for a transitional governing body with full executive powers, but makes no mention of Assad's future.Kerry's comment drew consternation from some in the Syrian opposition.Kerry's remarks come after CIA head John Brennan also warned that Washington feared that a chaotic collapse of Syria's government could usher in an Islamist takeover.
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