"This is a courageous vote in the interests of all the Syrian people who have suffered so horribly under the brutality of the Assad regime and a civil war without end," Kerry said in a statement on Saturday after the Syrian opposition leaders took a decision on it in Turkey.

By voting to go to Geneva II with a mission to negotiate an end to the war, the opposition has chosen a path that will ultimately lead to a better future for all Syrians, he said.

The US, he said, will continue to support the Syrian opposition as they embark on the best opportunity to achieve a negotiated political transition as outlined in the Geneva communique, including the establishment, based on mutual consent, of a transitional governing body exercising full executive authority, including over military and security entities.

"As we proceed with a political transition, we will also continue to demand an end to the regime's SCUD missiles, barrel bombs, and horrific weapons used against civilians and we will keep pushing for improved humanitarian access, prisoner releases, and the return of journalists and aid workers held hostage," he said.

Kerry will also attend the meeting on Syria.

"I will be engaging directly with the Syrian opposition and the international community at the conference on January 22 and every day thereafter," Kerry said.

"We all know that the process ahead will be difficult, but I say directly to the Syrian people: we will stand by you every mile of the journey as you seek to achieve the freedom and dignity that all Syrians deserve," he added.


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