Jan. 16 - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Geneva-2 was about ''establishing a process essential to a formation for a transition governing body.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated that Geneva-2 was about "establishing a process essential to a formation for a transition governing body, with full executive powers, established by mutual consent." "And any names put forward for leadership of Syria's transition must -- according to the terms of Geneva 1, and every one of the reiterations of that being the heart and soul of Geneva 2 -- those names must be agreed to by both the opposition and the regime," said Kerry. "This means that any figure that is deemed unacceptable by either side, whether president Assad or a member of the opposition, cannot be a part of the future." Kerry's statement comes a day after Western and Gulf Arab nations pledged more than $2.4 billion on Wednesday for UN aid efforts in Syria, where a near three-year civil war has left millions of people hungry, ailing or displaced. The world body estimates the conflict has reversed development gains in Syria by 35 years, with half its people now living in poverty. The Geneva-2 peace talks are set to start in Montreux on January 22. Syria's centrist internal opposition group, which rejects the armed insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad, said on Thursday that it will not attend peace talks in Switzerland next week, in a setback for the negotiations.