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White House: Russian prestige on the line in Syria

2:30 PM, Sep 11, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON -- The White House is looking to pin on Russia the success or failure of a diplomatic option to secure Syria's chemical weapons.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says, "Russia is now putting its prestige on the line." He's declining to put a deadline on the diplomatic efforts, but says bringing Syria's chemical weapons stockpile under international control "obviously will take some time."

Secretary of State John Kerry leaves later today for Geneva, to work on the Russian proposal under which international inspectors would seize and destroy Syria's chemical weapons.

With the public focus on diplomacy rather than a military response to last month's chemical weapons attack in Syria, Vice President Joe Biden and senior White House officials today summoned House Democrats and Republicans for classified briefings.

The briefings are a follow-up to President Barack Obama's televised address last night. Obama kept the threat of U.S. airstrikes on the table, and said it was too early to say whether the Russian offer would succeed.

Associated Press

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