News / Middle East

Obama: Syria Could Prevent Airstrike by Turning Over Chemical Weapons

Obama: Syria Could Prevent Airstrikes by Turning Over Chemical Weaponsi
X
September 10, 2013 3:21 PM
President Barack Obama says a proposal to put Syrian chemical weapons under international control could prevent U.S. military strikes on Syria. As VOA’s Kent Klein reports from the White House, the president has been making his case for military strikes to Congress and the American people after Syria’s alleged chemical attack on civilians.

Obama: Syria Could Prevent Airstrikes by Turning Over Chemical Weapons

TEXT SIZE - +
Kent Klein
— President Barack Obama says a proposal to put Syrian chemical weapons under international control could prevent U.S. military strikes on Syria.  The president has been making his case for military strikes to Congress and the American people after Syria’s alleged chemical attack on civilians.

Obama told the PBS Newshour Monday that he has instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss with Russia the proposal for Syria to surrender its chemical weapons.

“If we can exhaust these diplomatic efforts and come up with a formula that gives the international community a verifiable, enforceable mechanism to deal with these chemical weapons in Syria, then I am all for it," the president said.  "But we are going to have to see specifics.”

The president also told ABC World News that Syria could prevent U.S. airstrikes by turning over its chemical weapons.

“Absolutely, if, in fact, that happened.  And so, I consider this a modestly positive development,” he said.
 
Syria's government Monday welcomed Russia's initiative.

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton met with Obama at the White House Monday and conditionally backed Russia's proposal.
 
“That would be an important step," Clinton noted. "But this cannot be another excuse for delay or obstruction.  And Russia has to support the international community’s efforts sincerely or be held to account.”

Since announcing that he would seek authorization from Congress for U.S. strikes on Syria, President Obama has been campaigning to gain support for those strikes -- speaking with congressional leaders at the White House, with world leaders at last week’s G20 Summit in Russia and Monday, in interviews with U.S. television news programs.

The president’s efforts are building toward a rare, televised evening address to the nation, likely his final appeal to the American people.

Public opinion polls show that a majority of Americans oppose U.S. military action in Syria.  

And the proposal to launch strikes on Syria faces stiff opposition in Congress.

Obama told the PBS Newshour he understands the odds against getting Congress to approve his request.

“I also want to make the case, though, that it is in our long-term national security interests to make sure that this chemical weapons ban is enforced,” he stressed.

Other members of the administration also have been making the case.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice, at Washington’s New America Foundation, said the military action the president wants would not mark the start of another war.
  
“There will be no boots on the ground, period.  Nor would it resemble Kosovo or Libya, which were sustained air campaigns.  This will not be an open-ended effort,” Rice stated.

In the meantime, the administration says it continues to prepare for possible military action against Syria.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid