Obama open to ‘diplomatic track’; sees potential breakthrough in Russian plan


0829-syria-crisis-dovish-democrats_full_380WASHINGTON, Sep. 10 (APP): President Barack Obama on Monday signaled Washington’s inclination towards finding a diplomatic solution to Syrian crisis, saying  he is open to negotiations on an alternative plan that could avert a US military strike against the Middle Eastern country over its alleged use of chemical weapons attack near Damascus on August 21.Reacting to a proposal, formally put forward by the Russians, that would have President Bashar al-Assad’s government place its chemical weapons under international control, Obama said he hoped the issue could be resolved diplomatically.“We will pursue this diplomatic track,” Obama told Fox News. “I fervently hope that this can be resolved in a non-military way.”

Obama’s decision to pursue the diplomatic track marks a departure from his decision more than a week ago to pursue a military strike to punish the Syrian government. He had also declared his intent to seek Congressional approval for any military action against Syria.
Appearing on several American TV channels, President Obama concededthat the idea of monitoring and ultimately destroying Syria’s arsenal “could potentially be a significant breakthrough.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate postponed a vote scheduled for Wednesday on whether to back a proposed punitive strike against Syria.
“I welcome the possibility of the development,” Obama said of theproposal. “We should explore and exhaust all avenues of diplomatic resolution to this.”
The international discussion and backing on the possibility of turningover Syrian chemical weapons to the international community was triggered by Secretary of State John Kerry’s remark when he observed during a media interaction that Syria could only avert military action if it turned over itsweapons within a week.
“Russia and Syria embraced Secretary of State John F. Kerry’ssuggestion Monday that the Syrian government could avert a U.S. attack by placing its chemical weapons under international control, upending the Obama administration’s efforts to sharpen its case for military action,” The WashingtonPost noted in a report Monday evening.
According to unnamed U.S. officials, cited by the Post, Kerry’s comment, made in response to a question at a news conference in London, was not intended to be a diplomatic opening. “But Kerry’s Russian and Syrian counterparts quickly followed up, and the idea drew immediate interest internationally andfrom top Democrats in Washington,” the Post added.
“I think you have to take it with a grain of salt, initially,” Obama said in an interview with NBC. His interviews appeared to aim at eliciting public response to his Administration’s idea of a military strike in response to an alleged Aug. 21 gas attack on Syrian civilians.
Obama plans to address the nation Tuesday on the issues over Syria,where a civil war and the State’s violence against uprising has claimed estimably around one hundred thousand lives in the last two years and forced millions to seek refuge in neighboring Middle Eastern countries.
Source: APP

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