Wouldn't it be great if this all worked out, and we could concentrate on diplomacy to solve this problem?
President Obama on Monday called a Russian proposal for Syria to turn over control of its chemical weapons to international monitors in order to avoid a military strike a “potentially positive development,” that could represent a “significant breakthrough,” but he said he remains skeptical the Syrian government would follow through on its obligations based on its recent track record.
“Between the statements that we saw from the Russians — the statement today from the Syrians — this represents a potentially positive development,” Obama said in an interview with NBC News, according to a transcript provided by the network. “We are going to run this to ground. [Secretary of State] John Kerry will be talking to his Russian counterpart. We’re going to make sure that we see how serious these proposals are.”
In a separate interview with ABC, Obama said that if Assad were to give up his chemical weapons, a military strike would “absolutely’ be on pause.
The proposal by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov in Moscow offered the first indication that a diplomatic solution may be possible to the international standoff that has evolved since apparent chemical weapons attacks on rebel-held suburbs outside Damascus on Aug. 21.
In Washington, deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken told reporters Monday that the United States “would welcome a decision and action by Syria to give up its chemical weapons.” But he expressed skepticism that Syria would do so. In response to the Russian proposal, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid delayed a Senate test vote authorizing military force in Syria that was planned for Wednesday.