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Sep 13, 2013

Obama says Syria deal must be ‘verifiable and enforceable’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday he hopes talks on a plan to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons are successful, but said he will insist any deal is “verifiable and enforceable.”

Obama made his comments after meeting in the Oval Office of the White House with Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah.

Sep 12, 2013

White House sees ‘irony’ in Putin’s New York Times column

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin proved an important point about “American exceptionalism” when he took a shot at the concept in his column in the New York Times, the White House said on Thursday.

In the opinion piece, Putin lauded a Russian proposal to put Syrian chemical weapons under international control and lectured the United States for what he said was a tendency to use “brute force” in world disputes.

Sep 12, 2013

White House pledges to work with Brazil on surveillance concerns

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House tried on Wednesday to smooth over a diplomatic row with Brazil, pledging to address concerns caused by reports that the United States had spied on President Dilma Rousseff and hacked into the computer networks of state-run oil company Petrobras.

Susan Rice, President Barack Obama’s national security advisor, met with Brazilian Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo to discuss Brazil’s questions about documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Sep 10, 2013

Obama wants to keep pressure on Syria as diplomatic option pursued

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and top national security officials urged Congress on Tuesday to keep the pressure on Syria over its chemical weapons arsenal while the United States explores a diplomatic alternative to military strikes.

A potential diplomatic breakthrough put the brakes on a vote in Congress over authorizing military force as lawmakers and the administration sought more time to assess Russia’s proposal to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control.

Sep 10, 2013

Obama seeks to keep pressure on Syria amid diplomacy push

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will tell the American people and Congress on Tuesday evening that the United States must not let up pressure on Syria even as Washington explores a diplomatic alternative to military strikes.

While Obama plans to claim credit for a potential diplomatic breakthrough on Syria’s chemical weapons, he still faces potential political damage from his failure so far to sell the public and Congress on the need for military intervention.

Sep 10, 2013

Obama to claim small victory as pushes ahead on Syria plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will take some credit for a possible diplomatic breakthrough on Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile in an address to Americans on Tuesday, but will keep pushing Congress to approve military force, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

The White House said Syria’s recent acceptance of a Russian proposal to give up its chemical weapons came about because of the U.S. threat of strikes, Carney told MSNBC.

Sep 10, 2013

Obama sees possible breakthrough in Syria weapons proposal

WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday he saw a possible breakthrough in the crisis with Syria after Russia proposed that its ally Damascus hand over its chemical weapons for destruction, which could avert planned U.S. military strikes.

But Obama, speaking in a series of television interviews, remained skeptical and pushed ahead to persuade a reluctant and divided Congress to back potential U.S. action, saying the threat of force was needed to press Syria to make concessions.

Sep 10, 2013

Russian proposal opens new U.S. options in Syria strike debate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Monday the United States would explore Russia’s potential “breakthrough” plan to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control but would keep the pressure on Damascus by asking Congress to authorize U.S. military strikes.

In a series of television interviews designed to persuade Congress and the American public of the need for intervention, Obama said he would pause any military action if Syria would relinquish control of its chemical weapons arsenal.

Sep 9, 2013

Russian proposal complicates U.S. Syria strike debate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, struggling to gain support for U.S. military action in Syria, called Russia’s proposal on Monday to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control a “potentially positive” move that should be viewed skeptically.

Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid pushed back a Senate test vote on whether to authorize military strikes against Syria that had been scheduled for Wednesday as lawmakers evaluate the Russian plan. The vote is still expected this week.

Sep 7, 2013

Obama appeals for backing to hit Syria, Europeans urge delay

WASHINGTON/VILNIUS (Reuters) – President Barack Obama urged Americans on Saturday to back him in launching an attack on Syria, as diplomatic pressure grew on the United States to wait for a U.N. report expected in a week’s time before beginning military action.

Fresh from a European trip in which he failed to forge a consensus among global leaders, Obama plunged into a campaign on radio and television to try to convince a skeptical U.S. public and Congress of the need for a military strike on Syria.

    • About Roberta

      "Based on Capitol Hill, I help cover U.S. energy and environmental policy. I have reported on commodities since 1995, and have been with Reuters since 2002, moving to Washington from Canada in 2008."
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