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Obama: International control over chemical weapons in Syria not to settle conflict

September 10, 2013, 5:23 UTC+3

However, the US President admitted that this may contribute to avoiding a military action

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Photo ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

Photo ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

NEW YORK, September 10 (Itar-Tass) - President Barack Obama said in a series of interviews with six media outlets on Monday (CNN, NBC, PBS, ABC, CBS and Fox News) that he is prepared to consider in earnest Russia's proposal on other countries' control over the stocks of chemical weapons in Syria.

Obama was asked to comment on the news of the past day, including Russia’s proposal about placing Syrian stocks of chemical weapons under the control of the international community. Obama confirmed that he spoke about all those things with the President of Russia. He also assigned US Secretary of State John Kerry to go ahead with the dialogue on the subject with the Russian side. However, it was not clear from his remarks whether he meant in this case concretely the new proposal or the Syria issue as a whole.


“Potentially a significant breakthrough”

President Barack Obama referred to Russia's proposal to put Syrian chemical weapons under international control as "potentially a significant breakthrough". "This (proposal) could be potentially a significant breakthrough. But we have to be skeptical because this is not how we've seen them operate over the last couple of years", he said.

He said international control would not settle the conflict but would, possibly, contribute to avoiding a military action. However, Obama noted that US Secretary of State John Kerry is yet to find out to what extent Russia's proposal is serious.


Diplomatic solution preferable

Obama in his remarks in the interview said he had not decided whether to use military force against Syria if Congress votes "no". He said an evaluation of the situation would follow the forthcoming voting in Congress.

The US President admitted that he would still prefer a "diplomatic solution" to the situation around Syria. He said that if the international community gets a verifiable and practicable mechanism of control over chemical weapons in Syria, he would entirely favor that.

The United States assumes that Iran and the extremist grouping Hezbollah can asymmetrically retaliate against use of military force in Syria by the US, but they are unlikely to resort to such actions, President Barack Obama said in his interview on Monday.

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