POLITICS: PennAve

Nancy Pelosi: Russia's Syria proposal a 'victory' for Obama

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Barack Obama,United States,Russia,Nancy Pelosi,Syria,PennAve,Sean Lengell,Chemical Weapons,Foreign Policy

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Russia's offer to secure Syria's chemical weapons a "victory" for President Obama's foreign policy, saying it vindicates his handling of the ongoing bloody Syrian civil war.

The California Democrat dismissed the notion that Moscow's offer to intervene undermines the United States' international leadership position, particularly Obama's struggle to negotiate peace in Syria, saying the president all along has wanted a diplomatic — not a military — solution.

Russia "has given the president a victory because it has recognized that for 2-and-a-half years the president has used and attempted diplomacy to try to have a political solution to what is happening in Syria," the California Democrat said at the Capitol Tuesday.

"So what the Russians are suggesting, if it is real and if it is serious, says that the dynamic has changed. The president's been trying for this. He's been striving to get the Syrian weapons under international control. And now the Russians are suggesting it.

"It doesn't take the wind out [of the administration]; it validates what the president is doing."

When asked if she trusts the Russians to make good on their offer, Pelosi said she and her Democratic caucus "will exhaust every remedy before using force," including pressing the administration to fully involve the United Nations — an option that until now had limited possibilities because of Russia's veto power on security matters.

Pelosi said it's up to the administration to determine how much time the United States should give Russia to make good on its plan.

"This can't be endless. But I don't think [the Russian proposal] can be ignored either," she said.

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