“Both countries are constructively trying to move towards the political process. There are obviously tensions and there are differences, but with respect to the political process, they’re both committed to trying to make that move forward,” the state secretary stated.
Asked whether the Turkey-Russia relationship is one of the biggest obstacles in that Syrian peace process, Kerry said, “No, it’s actually not.”
Relations between Moscow and Ankara deteriorated after a Turkish jet brought down a Russian Su-24 aircraft over Syria in November, claiming it had violated Turkish airspace. Both the Russian General Staff and the Syrian Air Defense Command confirmed that the Russian jet had never crossed into Turkish airspace.
At the first round of Vienna talks, the international mediators worked out a nine-point plan on ending the Syrian civil war, including a definition of national unity, the need to defeat of extremist groups and provide assistance to refugees.
During the second round of the talks, mediators agreed to uphold the 2012 Geneva communique on a political solution to the Syrian conflict and set a six-month timeframe for Damascus to form an interim unity government, while stipulating that elections in Syria should be held within 18 months.