Kerry: ‘Writing Checks’ Is Not Going To Solve the Syrian Civil War

‘We can’t just endlessly be writing checks’

“In the United States, we recognize that, while this crisis is not as real on our shores on a daily basis, we have a moral obligation to stand with our partners and to do more to assist in the relief effort. And that is why I was able to announce in London that we will contribute an additional $925 million to the already $4.5 billion we have contributed to Syrian refugees, making us, I think, the largest donor specifically to this plight of Syrian refugees – providing emergency care, education, and job help.

And I think everybody understands, and this is perhaps the most important point, and this is what motivated us to go to Vienna twice with the great help of all the partners sitting here – the EU, Federica, others – everybody came together in commonality with the recognition that writing checks is not going to solve the problem. We can’t just endlessly be writing checks. We can’t be endlessly fighting about whether Schengen is alive or dead or what’s going to happen. We have to end this war. And the only way to do that is somehow to bring about the quickest possible political settlement, because almost everybody has agreed that if all one side does is escalate, the other side will to. And we could have an endless escalation between Iran, between Shia, between Sunni, between Saudi Arabia or Turkey or Qatar or – any country of interest has the ability to blow this apart – one country. It takes every country coming together in order to hold it together.”

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