Monday, September 9, 2013

Military strike on hold if Assad turns over chemical weapons: Obama

United States President Barack Obama has said the military strike against Syria can be put on hold if the Assad regime agrees to turns over the chemical weapons to the international community.

Obama, in separate interviews to six news channels on the issue of Syria on Monday , also conceded he was not confident of getting votes form Congress on the strike, but said he would take a final decision after talking to American people directly tonight.

\"Absolutely, if, in fact, that happened,\" the President told the ABC News when asked if the military strike was on pause if Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, yields control of his chemical weapons to international authority.

\"That\'s in our national security interest. If we can do that without a military strike, that is overwhelmingly my preference. And now the key is, can we see a sense of urgency?\" Obama said.

\"I don\'t think that we would have gotten to this point unless we had maintained a credible possibility of a military strike, and I don\'t think now is the time for us to let up on that,\" Obama, said asserting that he wants to make sure that the norm against use of chemical weapons is maintained.

The US President also said he was not confident enough of getting Congressional support on the issue.

\"I wouldn\'t say I\'m confident. I\'m confident that the members of Congress are taking this issue very seriously and they\'re doing their homework. And I appreciate that,\" Obama told the NBC news in another interview.

The President said he has not decided on going for the military strike without Congressional authorisation.

Asserting that he always preferred for a diplomatic resolution to the Syrian crisis, Obama noted that the latest statements by Russia and the Syrian government represent a potentially positive development.
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