DAMASCUS, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that he agreed to put chemical weapons under international observation "upon the request of Russia and not because of the American threats," the state-run SANA news agency reported Thursday.
"Any war against Syria would be destructive to the entire region and would plunge the region in a series of problems and instability for decades to come," he said during an interview with Russia 24 channel, according to SANA, a couple of days after his administration accepted a Russian proposal that Syria place chemical weapons under international observation to avoid U.S. military strikes over alleged chemical attacks in Damascus last month.
For the Russian initiative, Assad said that the implementation of such an initiative depends primarily on the will of the United States to abandon its aggressive policies against Syria.
Obama asks Congress to delay Syria vote
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
Kerry to meet Russian counterpart on diplomatic solution to Syria crisis
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
Putin urges U.S. to drop military strike plan against Syria
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
News Analysis: Russian proposal for Syria's chemical weapon could benefit Israel
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
Opposition to Syrian military strike increases: polls
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
Kerry says U.S. not to wait long for Syrian chemical weapons proposal
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