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reply to post by canucks555
To compound the situation, however, United States President Barack Obama has nonetheless asked Congress to delay votes that would authorize military strikes against Syria, in order to "give Russia time to get Syria to surrender any [weapons] it possesses," Reuters reported Tuesday afternoon.
"What he (Obama) wants is to check out the seriousness of the Syrian and the Russian willingness to get rid of those chemical weapons in Syria. He wants time to check it out,'' Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin told Reuters reporters.
UPDATE 3:32p ET: According to the latest reports, Syria's foreign minister has said that the Syrian government supports the Russian initiative and wants to hand over all chemical weapons.
UPDATE 3:49p ET: Secretary Kerry will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva, Switzerland on Thursday.
Read more: foxnewsinsider.com...
Russia might be stalling form time , but i do not see it , Russia is trying to prevent WW3 we should be thankful of that.
Syria's foreign minister: We'll declare chemical weapons, sign arms ban
Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem told NBC News' Keir Simmons in Moscow that he hoped acceptance of Russia's "peaceful solution" would "put an end to the war."
By Alastair Jamieson, Albina Kovalyova and Keir Simmons, NBC News
Syria is ready to declare its chemical weapons arsenal and adhere to the chemical weapons convention, the country's foreign minister said Tuesday, amid a flurry of diplomatic maneuverings around the world.
Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said Damascus supports the Russian initiative for Syria to hand over chemical weapons.
"I am authorized to confirm our support for the Russian initiative regarding chemical weapons in Syria in compliance with the regime of the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons," Moualem said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday a proposal for Syria to hand over chemical weapons will not succeed unless the United States and its allies reject the use of force against Syria.
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Putin’s statement came not long after President Barack Obama agreed to discuss the plan, after Damascus confirmed it would accept such a deal.
“All this will work only in case we hear that American side and all those who support it will denounce using force,” Putin said in televised remarks.
According to a senior administration official, Obama was changing his speech Tuesday afternoon to reflect the latest diplomatic developments. The president prepared to address Congress and the American people to make the case for the use of military strikes if diplomatic solutions fail.
The president does still believe that a military option has to stay on the table, the official said, in response to Putin's suggestion.
U.S. officials confirmed that the Tuesday emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council was put on hold because Russia- who had requested it originally - withdrew its request.
Officials told NBC News that France, Britain and the United States are meeting privately to discuss the elements of a new resolution to incorporate Russia's proposal.
Earlier, Syria Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem told NBC News in Moscow that he hoped acceptance of the "peaceful solution" would "put an end to the war."
The building momentum behind Russia's plan, which had already been endorsed by China and Iran, came only 24 hours after Secretary of State John Kerry raised a weapons handover at a news conference in London.
Obama said Monday that the Russia plan offered a potential path that averted U.S. military strikes, but Kerry cautioned that the only reason the Russia solution has "potential legs at all" is because of a credible threat of force.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testifies before the House Armed Services Committee Tuesday, saying that the Obama administration will not wait for very long on a possible Syrian chemical weapons proposal.
"Nothing focuses the mind like the prospect of a hanging," Kerry told a congressional committee Tuesday. He said Obama would look at the plan but added: "We’re waiting for that proposal, but we’re not waiting for long.”
Kerry said it had been the “credible use of force” by the U.S. that has “for the first time brought this regime to even acknowledge that they have a chemical weapons arsenal,” adding that the threat of military action “is more compelling if the Congress stands with the commander in chief.”
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel echoed that line to the committee, saying the Russia deal "could be a real solution to this crisis," but added: "We must be clear-eyed and ensure it is not a stalling tactic by Syria and its Russian patrons."
Senior senators - including John McCain, R-Ariz., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. - announced they were working on a new plan that would authorize the president to use force only if Syria did not comply with a U.N. resolution to remove chemical weapons by a pre-determined deadline.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announces Tuesday that he will not be voting in favor of a resolution to use U.S. military force in Syria.
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Even as they discussed their move, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced his opposition to military strikes against Syria. And Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., a member of the Foreign Relations Committee and Kerry's successor in the Senate, said he would not support the use of force resolution passed by the committee, calling it too broad.
The president traveled to Capitol Hill shortly after noon Tuesday to meet with the Senate Democratic Caucus and Senate Republican Conference before delivering an address to the nation from the East Room of the White House at 9:01 p.m. ET.
The White House has been battling to shore up support in Congress for a strike, which is unpopular among Americans. The Senate delayed an authorization vote after the Russian proposal became public, but on Tuesday Kerry said that "nothing has changed" on the administration request for congressional action.
In a further development, a spokesman for Putin said the Russian president had discussed the weapons handover plan with Obama at last week’s G-20 summit, and a senior administration official told NBC News that the two had discussed the concept a year ago. The official said, however, that it wasn't until the chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21 killed hundreds of people that the Russians showed a willingness to put together a serious proposal.
That shed a different light on Kerry’s mention of the plan at a news conference in London on Monday. That had previously been characterized by spokesman Jen Psaki as an off-the-cuff “rhetorical argument.”
Obama's case for limited airstrikes targeting Assad's regime was boosted early Tuesday when a Human Rights Watch report blamed Syrian government forces for the Aug. 21 attack.
The U.S.-based rights group said it had reached its conclusion after analyzing witness accounts, remnants of the weapons used and medical records of victims.
HRW said it did not believe the attack could have been carried out by rebels or other “terrorists” as a smokescreen, as suggested by Assad. "Human Rights Watch and arms experts monitoring the use of weaponry in Syria have not documented Syrian opposition forces to be in possession of the 140mm and 330mm rockets used in the attack, or their associated launchers," the report added.
Russia’s diplomatic solution appeared to be gathering momentum internationally -- as an attractive option for many U.S. allies who agree with the White House stance against chemical weapons but who are reluctant to be drawn into another Middle East military conflict.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., are working with other senators on an alternative resolution to dealing with Syria and its chemical weapons. NBC News' Kasie Hunt reports.
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov explained his proposal during a pre-planned 14-minute phone call to John Kerry as the U.S. secretary of state flew from London to Washington Monday.
U.S. officials said Kerry expressed concern that it would be hard to verify whether Syria had complied with any such plan, or to know if the regime had still kept some of its chemical weapons stockpiles.
Adding to international concern, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu agency reported that Syrian jets bombed the border town of Tel Abyad on Monday, prompting yet more Syrians to seek refuge in Turkey. Thousands had already flooded across the border, leaving authorities struggling to cope.
NBC News' Courtney Kube, Kasie Hunt, Andrea Mitchell, Andy Eckardt, Kelly O'Donnell and Catherine Chomiak contributed to this report, along with The Associated Press and Reuters.
A possible diplomatic resolution on Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles seems to have become mired in political debate as Russia differs with France and its allies over a UN resolution. France said on Tuesday it would submit a UN Security Council resolution calling on Syria to put its chemical weapons beyond use or face "extremely serious" reprisals. Now, an emergency UN Security Council meeting, originally called by Russia for Tuesday, apparently to discuss its own plan for Syria, has been cancelled after the Russia withdrew the request.
seems we will know come Thursday
Eight more countries sign Syria statement; total now 33 - White House 0:19
Kerry to discuss Syria's chemical weapons with Russia in Geneva on Thursday 0:15
Obama asks Congress to delay vote on Syria military strike Yesterday, 23:23
Russia withdraws request for emergency UN Syria meeting Yesterday, 23:09
UN Security Council meeting on Syria postponed at Russia's request - envoys Yesterday, 22:50
US awaits Russian ideas on securing Syrian chemical weapons - Kerry Yesterday, 22:43