US exploring Russia’s proposal for Syria: White House

U.S. President Barack Obama pauses while speaking about Syria to reporters during a meeting with Baltic leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. Credit: Reuters
President Barack Obama speaks about Syria to reporters during a meeting with Baltic leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington.
Credit: Reuters

The Obama administration will begin discussions with the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday on Russia’s proposal to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international control, a White House official said.

President Barack Obama spoke by phone earlier with French President Francois Holland and British Prime Minister David Cameron about the Russian proposal.

“They agreed to work closely together, and in consultation with Russia and China, to explore seriously the viability of the Russian proposal to put all Syrian chemical weapons and related materials fully under international control in order to ensure their verifiable and enforceable destruction,” the White House official said.

“These efforts will begin today at the United Nations, and will include a discussion on elements of a potential U.N. Security Council Resolution,” the official said in a statement.

Obama may want to discuss timing with Congress

President Barack Obama may want to talk to congressional leaders about “when and how” to act on his request for authorization for limited strikes on Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday.

“Nothing has changed with respect to our request for the Congress to take action with respect to this,” Kerry told a congressional hearing, when asked about diplomatic developments.

“As to when and how, that’s something the president may want to chat with the leadership about,” he said.

Kerry also said the proposed military action was not aimed at toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but it would hurt his military capacity and press him to negotiate.


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