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Obama Asks Congress to Delay Votes on Syria

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U.S. President Barack Obama has asked Congress to delay voting on a possible military strike against Syria, after the government in Damascus agreed to give up its chemical weapons.

Mr. Obama has insisted that Syria be punished for a chemical weapons attack on civilians last month. But momentum is growing for a diplomatic solution, rather than a military one.

The Syrian government said Tuesday it will disclose details and locations of its chemical stockpile and sign an international treaty banning such weapons. On Monday, Syria said it would agree to a Russian plan to put its chemical weapons under international control, and allow them to be destroyed.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the Obama administration will take a hard look at the Russian plan. Kerry plans to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday in Geneva to discuss the latest developments.

President Obama plans to address the American people Tuesday night on the Syrian crisis.



The United Nations Security Council was planning to hold an emergency meeting on Syria Tuesday afternoon, but that was abruptly canceled.

President Obama says the U.S. is still prepared to go ahead with military strikes against Syria if the diplomacy effort fails. Russian President Vladimir Putin says the plan for Syria can only work if the United States drops its threat of force.

Syria's main opposition bloc, the Syrian National Coalition, dismissed the proposal as meaningless. It said the plan still would give the Syrian army free rein to fight on with conventional weapons.

But while diplomatic activity focuses on the response to the chemical weapons attack on a Damascus neighborhood Aug. 21, the civil war in Syria continues. On Tuesday, Syrian military jets again bombed rebel positions in the capital.

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