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Secretary of State John Kerry said the only way to relieve the refugee pressure on Greece and Turkey and Syria's other neighbors is for the international community to force a ceasefire in the war-torn country, and lead a political transition to remove the conditions that led to the civil war's outbreak nearly five years ago.

"The solution is to end the war, and the best way to deal with this crisis, as we have said again and again, is to make every step possible, as fast as possible, to bring about a ceasefire, get into the political discussion, and let Syrians decide the future of Syria through that discussion," Kerry said in a joint appearance with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias in Athens.

Kotzias said that Greece, which has been deluged with refugees fleeing the conflict, is a "beacon of stability" in an unstable region and willing to play mediator between the warring factions.

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