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The two superpowers want to seek a political solution to Syria’s conflict, establish an interim government to include members of the current regime and “acceptable” opposition members. Such a transition would lead to elections to replace the Assad regime.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry has cautioned: “The alternative is that Syria heads closer to the abyss, if not over the abyss and into chaos [with] even more violence.”

The proposed inclusive peace conference may be the best alternative to an escalating conflict — even with an imperfect outcome — and repeating the chaotic situation in Libya.

John Price is a former U.S. ambassador to Comoros, Mauritius and the Seychelles islands. He currently serves as a resident scholar at the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics. He is the author of “When the White House Calls,” and regularly writes commentaries on Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.