US Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the solution to the Syrian conflict must be political not military.
However, he claimed that air strikes were essential to stop "Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regime from killing its own people with chemical weapons."
"Let me be clear, the United States, President Obama, myself, others are in full agreement that the end of the conflict in Syria requires a political solution. There is no military solution, we have no illusions about that," he said after talks with British Foreign Secretary William Hague.
In parallel, he stated: "A resolution to this has to come about because the parties are prepared to come and negotiate that political solution."
"A resolution will not be found on the battlefield, but at that negotiating table. But we have to get to that table," Kerry said from London.
He further claimed that al-Assad could avoid a military strike by turning over all his chemical weapons within a week but immediately made clear he was sure that would never happen.
When asked by a reporter whether there was anything al-Assad's government could do or offer to stop any attack, Kerry said:
"Sure, he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week - turn it over, all of it without delay and allow the full and total accounting (of it) but he isn't about to do it and it can't be done."
"If you want to send Iran and Hizbullah and al-Assad a congratulatory message: 'You guys can do what you want,' you'd say: 'Don't do anything.'
"We believe that is dangerous and we will face this down the road in some more significant way if we're not prepared to take ... a stand now," Kerry said.
He also stressed the relationship between Britain and the United States was as strong as ever despite the British parliament having decided not to join military action against Syria.
"The relationship between the United States and the UK has often been described as special, essential and it has been described thus because it is," Kerry said. "The bond .. is bigger than one vote."
Kerry said while in London he had held talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas which were "productive and information" but did not give any further details.
For his part, Hague said that Washington had the "full diplomatic support of the United Kingdom" even though it will not take part in military action.
"They have the full diplomatic support of the United Kingdom," said Hague, and pointed out that "the United Kingdom will continue to play an active role in addressing the Syria crisis and working with our closest ally in the coming weeks and months."
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team