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POLITICS: PennAve

Obama: 'Enormous frustration' over Syria

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Politics,White House,Brian Hughes,Barack Obama,Syria,PennAve,France,Francois Hollande

President Obama in a joint press conference Tuesday with French President Francois Hollande acknowledged “enormous frustration” over the civil war in Syria but vowed to “keep the pressure on” strongman Bashar Assad's regime.

The violence in Syria has not subsided despite an international deal to disarm Assad's chemical weapons stockpile and talks between opposition leaders and the regime.

The U.S.-French relationship was strained last year when Hollande agreed to back Obama's call for military intervention in Syria, before Obama suddenly dropped those plans after failing to win support from Congress.

Hollande, however, insisted Tuesday that the Obama administration helped broker a better solution in Syria.

“We were prepared to resort to force, but we found another option — negotiation,” Hollande said.

Obama reiterated Tuesday that he was reluctant to deploy U.S. forces to Syria, saying the sole answer to the bloodshed there was a political agreement.

Still, Obama said that such an accord hardly appeared imminent.

“We still have a horrendous situation on the ground in Syria — I don’t think anybody disputes this,” Obama said.

"We are far from achieving [peace] yet," he added.

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Brian Hughes

White House Correspondent
The Washington Examiner