Press Availability
William J. Burns
Deputy Secretary
Marrakech, Morocco
December 12, 2012


(Reuters soundbites from press conference following meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People)

The video below is available with closed captioning on YouTube

Today the United States has taken an important step forward. We now recognize the Syrian Opposition Council as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. We have extended an invitation to Mouaz al-Khatib and the coalition leadership to visit Washington at their earliest opportunity. We have been intensively engaged with special envoy [Lakhdar] Brahimi, our Russian counterparts, and other partners to assist him in his efforts to bring about a real political transition, as outlined in the Geneva communique.

The step that we took with regard to the designation of the al-Nusra Front raises an alarm about a very different kind of future for Syria, about the direction that a group, in this case al-Nusra, would try to take Syria, to impose its will and to try to threaten the social fabric of Syria.