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Kerry to Meet Russia, Others to Discuss 'Tangible' Syria Solution

by Courtney Kube and Alastair Jamieson /  / Updated 

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U.S. and Russian military officials are expected to sign on Tuesday guidelines the two nations would follow regarding aircraft flying over Syria.

The document is focused on airspace safety, said Pentagon spokesperson Captain Jeff Davis, and will be very narrowly focused on the technical details such as what channel the pilots will communicate on and which language they will use when speaking to one another.

Image: Secretary of State John Kerry waves after arriving in Spain
John Kerry waves after arriving at Torrejon air base near Madrid, Spain, on Sunday.POOL / Reuters

The announcement came on the same day Secretary of State John Kerry announced he will meet with leaders from Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Jordan to discuss “real and tangible options” for a political solution to the Syria crisis.

He said there was no realistic military solution to the conflict and that “propping up [President Bashar] Assad will ultimately fail and also unfortunately lead to more bloodshed, more refugees, more extremism and more jihadis.”

He told reporters in Spain, where he was on an official visit, that he would travel to the Middle East “in a few days” for more talks on Syria — but did not elaborate on what options were being discussed.

"I will be coming back in a few days and will meet with leaders from Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Jordan to work through real and tangible options that could perhaps reignite a political process and bring about a political transition in Syria," he said.

“Everyone, including Russia and Iran, has said there is no military solution. This is a human catastrophe that not only threatens the integrity of whole country but also of countries around the region,” he added.

In a nod to President Barack Obama’s decision last week to further slow troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, he said: “As we have learned in my country … defending ourselves from terrorism is not an option, it is a necessity. Securing the rights of innocent men and woman is not a burden, it’s a duty.”

Kerry also called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to take urgent action to end the "senseless" violence in Israel and the West Bank.

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