DAVOS, Switzerland - Syria's President Bashar Assad is not ready to step down yet, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday, a day after Syria's government and opposition met to launch peace talks during an international conference in Switzerland.

"Obviously he is not ready at this point in time," Kerry said in an interview with Al-Arabiya on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.

Kerry said if a peace agreement is reached, many countries had offered to send peacekeepers to Syria.

"If there is a peace agreement, there are many countries that have already offered to step up and be peacekeepers in the new Syria," Kerry said. "There is no question but that we are all prepared to help provide protection to any of the minorities."

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