WASHINGTON, May 8 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Thursday with Syrian Opposition Coalition President Ahmad Jarba at the State Department in Washington, D.C.
The two officials discussed a range of issues, "including empowering the moderate political and armed opposition, curbing the rise of extremism, completing the work of removing chemical weapons, and easing humanitarian suffering," said the State Department.
Kerry and Jarba talked about recent initiatives by the U.S. to empower the Syrian opposition, namely the establishment of the Syrian opposition's "foreign mission" status in the U.S., and enhanced non-lethal assistance that includes a sought after $27 million aid package from Congress.
On Wednesday, an opposition representative told UPI that Jarba would also be seeking lethal aid from the U.S., "specifically an air force to fight barrel bombs and scud missiles." The U.S. has condemned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime for its violence against its own citizens.
The two officials also discussed the Treasury Department's announcement Thursday that new sanctions and restrictions would be imposed on the Assad regime.