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POLITICS: PennAve

John Kerry: Syria deal requires binding UN resolution

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Brian Hughes,John Kerry,Syria,PennAve,United Nations,Chemical Weapons,Foreign Policy

Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that any deal for Syria to hand over its chemical weapons to international observers would require a binding United Nations resolution.

In an online Google+ hangout, Kerry said the U.S. would require "a full resolution from the Security Council in order to have confidence that this has the force that it has to have."

The remarks from the nation’s top diplomat came after Russian officials expressed reservations with a binding U.N. vote, after proposing Damascus relinquish its stockpile of chemical weapons to avert a threatened U.S. strike.

Under a UN resolution drafted by the U.S. and its allies, Syria would face repercussions for not following through with the plan to give up weapons the Obama administration alleges were used by President Bashar Assad against civilians in that country’s civil war.

Obama has been pressing for Congress to authorize an attack on Syria to punish Assad for crossing the president’s “red line.” But many lawmakers and a majority of the public remain skeptical about his Syria policy.

Syria’s foreign minister announced Tuesday that the government would sign off on a chemical weapons ban but U.S. officials are wary of Assad’s intentions.

Obama though told lawmakers over lunch Tuesday that he wanted to delay a congressional vote on a Syria strike until all diplomatic options are explored.

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