WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday night said in a White House address that the United States will work with Russia and other partners to work on a UN resolution making Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime give up chemical weapons.
"I've spoken to the leaders of two of our closest allies -- France and the United Kingdom -- and we will work together in consultation with Russia and China to put forward a resolution at the UN Security Council requiring Assad to give up his chemical weapons and to ultimately destroy them under international control," said Obama during a prime time address.
Obama said he is sending Secretary of State John Kerry to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday, and he will continue his own discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin, while cautioning it is still too early to tell if the Russian proposal will work, and pledged to give UN inspectors the opportunity to report their findings on the alleged attack.
"It's too early to tell whether this offer will succeed, and any agreement must verify that the Assad regime keeps its commitments, but this initiative has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force, particularly because Russia is one of Assad's strongest allies," said Obama.
Obama also said he has asked Congress to postpone a vote on the military strike against Syria, and let more time for diplomacy to work.
But the president said he still asked U.S. military to maintain their current posture to keep the pressure on Assad and to "be in a position to respond if diplomacy fails." He said "credible threat of U.S. military action," along with efforts made by Russia, brought about the recent positive development.
Obama reiterated the accusation that Assad's forces used chemical weapons, saying it is "not only a violation of international law, it's also a danger to our security."
"After careful deliberation, I determined that it is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike," Obama explained his plans before the Russian proposal emerged.
Lavrov on Monday proposed that Syria "place its chemical weapons stockpiles under international control so they can be destroyed." The proposal was met with positive response from Syria. Obama welcomed the proposal later in the day, saying it is a "potentially positive development."
WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama has asked Congress to delay the vote on the resolution authorizing military attack against Syria, in order to give diplomatic process more time to work, media reports quoted senators as saying Tuesday.
Obama's request came during a lunch meeting with Democrats at Capitol Hill. A Senate vote on the military action against Syria " would be delayed until next week, at the earliest," Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin was quoted by Politico as saying after the president's meeting with Senate Democrats. Full story
WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Thursday to discuss Russia's proposal for Syria to surrender its chemical weapons to avert a U.S. military strike, a media report said Tuesday.
A U.S. State Department official has confirmed the meeting, according to a report published by the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill on its website. It did not disclose further details of the meeting or how long Kerry will stay in Geneva.Full story
MOSCOW, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that placing Syrian chemical weapons under international control makes sense only if the U.S. drops its military strike plan against Syria.
"Certainly, all this makes sense and can work only if we hear that the U.S. side and everyone who supports the U.S. in this sense drops the idea of using force," Putin said in a statement published on the Kremlin website.Full story
JERUSALEM, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- A Russian proposal for Syria to hand over control of its chemical weapons to international supervisers may avert an almost certain American attack on Syria.
U.S. President Barack Obama stated last month that the United States would punish the Syrian government over its alleged use of chemical weapons on Aug. 21, and initiated a buildup of American forces in the region.Full story
WASHINGTON, Sept.10 (Xinhua) -- Poll results released Tuesday indicate the majority of Americans are concerned that U.S. military strike against Syria will become a long and costly involvement, while multiple recent polls show opposition to the potential attack has increased over the past weeks.
A survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY conducted during Sept. 4-8 showed 63 percent of Americans oppose the U.S. military action against Syria, but the percentage of opposition was only 48 percent during Aug.29 to Sept.1. On the contrary, the ratio of Americans who support the strike almost remained the same, which is less than 30 percent.Full story
WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday said that Washington won't wait for long for a Russian proposal to put Syria's chemical weapons under international control.
"We're waiting for that proposal. But we're not waiting for long," Kerry said during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Syria. "It has to be swift. It has to be real. It has to be verifiable," he added.Full story