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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Readout of National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice's Meeting with Syrian Opposition Coalition President Ahmad Jarba

This afternoon, President Obama joined National Security Advisor Susan Rice’s meeting with Syrian Opposition Coalition President Ahmad Jarba and the Coalition delegation.  President Obama and Ambassador Rice reaffirmed that Bashar al-Assad has lost all legitimacy to rule Syria and has no place in Syria’s future.  Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to a political solution to the conflict that includes a transition to a new governing authority.  President Obama welcomed the Coalition’s leadership and constructive approach to dialogue, and encouraged the Coalition to further its vision for an inclusive government that represents all of the people of Syria.  President Jarba thanked President Obama for U.S. non-lethal assistance, which totals $287 million and supports the Coalition, local communities inside Syria, and the moderate armed opposition.  He also thanked the United States for being the largest donor of humanitarian assistance.  The $1.7 billion committed by the United States goes to those in need inside of Syria and in neighboring countries.

The President and Ambassador Rice condemned the Assad regime’s deliberate targeting of Syrian civilians through aerial bombardments—including the use of barrel bombs—and the denial of food and humanitarian assistance to civilians located in areas under siege by the regime.  They emphasized the responsibility of the Syrian regime to provide rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian assistance.  The delegations also discussed the risks posed by growing extremism in Syria and agreed on the need to counter terrorist groups on all sides of the conflict.

President Obama and Ambassador Rice emphasized the illegitimacy of the regime’s plans to hold elections and underscored that the United States stands with the moderate opposition and the Syrian people in their efforts to end the conflict and facilitate a political transition.

A photograph of President Obama meeting with President Jarba is available HERE.