Psaki Would "Love To Reboot" Diplomatic Process In Syria, But Has No Plan; U.S. Will Keep Sending Weapons


State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told CNN Monday morning that U.S. policy on Syria hasn't changed -- putting it into action has just been "on hold" for almost two years -- and that the U.S. would love to "reboot" diplomatic negotiations with Syria, but when asked to respond to a statement by the Syrian president, Psaki refused to engage, saying that he could not be trusted. She followed up by saying the U.S. would continue to send guns and money into the conflict zone.

JEN PSAKI, U.S. STATE DEPT.: I think people are forgetting that we are talking about a political solution that would require both sides negotiating for some time now.

That has been on hold since both sides and many countries met in Switzerland over a year and a half ago. This is not a process that is ongoing -- we'd love to reboot the process because that is the only way we can see bringing an end to the suffering of the Syrian people.

CNN ANCHOR: Jen, what is the plan to get Assad to the table?

JEN PSAKI: Well I think that is a discuss that Secretary Kerry and others are having with both his Russian counterparts, his counterparts in the Gulf countries -- and we're trying to determine the best way to get representatives of the regime at the table with representatives of the opposition. It is difficult as you know -- there is a war going on. The opposition is continuing to build strength. Right now we are continuing to have discussions about how we can create that process, there isn't a process going on unfortunately.

CNN ANCHOR: It doesn't sound as though Bashar al-Assad wants you to be a part of this process. About an hour ago (7:00am ET) in an interview on Iranian television he responded to Sec. Kerry's comment about negotiating, and let me read it to you:

BASHAR AL-ASSAD: Any talk on the future of the Syrian president is for the Syrian people and all declarations from outside do not concern us.

What is your response?

MARIE HARF: Well I think we have to take anything Bashar al-Assad says with a huge chunk of -- grain of salt. Because he has killed tens of thousands of his own people. I think the international community is not going to stand by and accept his word that he is thinking of the people in his country and we are going to continue to think of ways to put pressure on him -- that includes diplomatic ways, training and equipping the Syrian opposition -- beginning this month -- and we are going to stay at it until we bring an end to the suffering of the Syrian people.

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