U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has called on key backers of President Bashar al-Assad to end the three-year war in Syria.
Speaking during an unannounced visit to Beirut on June 4, Kerry called on Iran, Russia, and the Shi'ite militant group Hizballah to “engage in a legitimate effort to bring this war to an end."
Kerry also announced new U.S. aid — $290 million for United Nations agencies working on the Syrian refugee issue throughout the region.
He dismissed the June 3 Syrian presidential election, which is widely expected to deliver a sweeping victory to Assad, as "a great big zero."
On Lebanon, Kerry said a political stalemate that has left the country without a president since last month was "deeply troubling," adding that parliamentarians should vote to fill the vacancy quickly.
Based on reporting by AFP and AP