Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday said that if Russia “can help us” end the Syrian civil war it would be in the strategic interest of the U.S., but refused to call Russia an ally in the region.
“I see no threat whatsoever to the fact that Russia has some additional foundation in Assyria where we don’t want a base, where we are not looking for some kind of a long-term presence,” Kerry said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday. “If Russia can help stabilize and provide for a peace process that actually ends this war, which is –”
Host John Dickerson interjected, asking, “They’re an ally in Syria?”
“No,” Kerry responded. “Which is putting existential pressure on Europe, as well as existential pressure on Jordan, on Lebanon and creating an environment that threatens Israel. You talk about threats to Israel, that turmoil is a threat to Israel.”
Despite not stating Russia is “an ally,” Kerry did say Russia is helping the U.S. and listed off ways in which they’re helping American interests.
“So if Russia can help us — and it is right now — Russia has helped bring about the Iran nuclear agreement. Russia helped get the chemical weapons out of Syria. Russia is now helping with the cessation of hostilities.”
“And if Russia can help us to actually affect this political transition, that is all to the strategic interest of the United States of America,” he said.