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Sep 11, 2013

Obama vows to explore Russian offer on Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama vowed to pursue a diplomatic initiative from Russia over Syria’s chemical weapons on Tuesday but voiced skepticism about it and urged Americans to support his threat to use military force.

Obama said in a White House speech that a Russian offer to push Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to place chemical weapons under international control offered the possibility of heading off the type of limited military strike he is considering against Syria.

Sep 9, 2013

Obama says Russian proposal on Syria a potential ‘breakthrough’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, seeking to boost support for military action against Syria, said on Monday that Russia’s offer to work with Damascus to put its chemical weapons under international control could be a big deal – if it is serious.

“This could potentially be a significant breakthrough,” Obama told NBC News in an interview. “But we have to be skeptical because this is not how we’ve seen them operate over the last couple of years.”

Sep 9, 2013

2016 repercussions? Hillary Clinton backs Obama on Syria action

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – “Before I get to the subject at hand, I’d like to say a few words about Syria.”

With that preface, Hillary Clinton turned a routine White House event about the perils of wildlife trafficking into a platform to voice her views about U.S. military action against Syria.

Sep 6, 2013

Obama says most G20 leaders agree Assad behind chemical attack

PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday that most leaders of the G20 countries agree that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for using poison gas against civilians as the U.S. leader tried to rally support at home and abroad for a military strike.

“I was elected to end wars, not start them,” Obama said at a news conference in Russia. “I’ve spent the last four and a half years doing everything I can to reduce our reliance on military power as a means of meeting our international obligations and protecting the American people.

Sep 6, 2013

Obama: U.S. will probe reported NSA spying on Brazil, Mexico

PETERSBURG, Russia/BRASILIA (Reuters) – President Barack Obama promised on Friday to look into a report the United States spied on the leaders of Brazil and Mexico, allegations that have caused tensions in Washington’s ties to its two biggest Latin American partners.

Obama met with presidents Dilma Rousseff of Brazil and Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico during an international summit in Russia and discussed reports that the U.S. National Security Agency snooped on their personal communications and phone calls.

Sep 5, 2013

Together again, Obama and Putin are “odd couple” at summit

PETERSBURG, Russia, Sept 5 (Reuters) – A 15-second
photo-op on Thursday between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin
spoke volumes – tight smiles, a businesslike handshake and
little more from two leaders bitterly divided by the crisis in

Their sparse encounter outside a tsarist palace in St.
Petersburg at the start of a Group of 20 (G20) summit
underscored the dismal state of U.S.-Russia relations, with
tensions mounting over Obama’s threatened military strike
against Syria, a Russian ally.

Sep 4, 2013

Obama: U.S. credibility on the line in Syria response

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – President Barack Obama issued a blunt challenge to skeptical U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday to approve his plan for a military strike on Syria, saying otherwise they would put America’s international prestige and their own credibility at risk.

Using a visit to Sweden to build his case for limited military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Obama insisted that the international community could not remain silent in the face of the “barbarism” of the August 21 chemical weapons attack he blamed on Syrian government forces.

Sep 2, 2013

As Obama pushes to punish Syria, lawmakers fear deep U.S. involvement

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and his aides pressed U.S. lawmakers on Monday to approve military force against Syria but many members of Congress were worried that an attack would only drag America into another Middle Eastern conflict with no end in sight.

Obama’s abrupt decision to halt plans for a strike against the government of President Bashar al-Assad and instead wait for congressional approval has generated a raging debate just as the president prepares to go to Sweden and Russia this week.

Aug 31, 2013

U.S. says world cannot let Assad get away with chemical attack

WASHINGTON/PARIS (Reuters) – The United States made clear on Friday that it would punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the “brutal and flagrant” chemical weapons attack that it says killed more than 1,400 people in Damascus last week.

“We cannot accept a world where women and children and innocent civilians are gassed on a terrible scale,” President Barack Obama told reporters at the White House.

Aug 30, 2013

U.S. casts action in Syria as moral imperative but sets no timetable

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration made a forceful case on Friday for limited U.S. military action against Syria, releasing evidence the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against civilians several times during the past year and saying the “indiscriminate, inconceivable horror” of a deadly attack last week could not go unpunished.

In separate statements, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry harshly condemned the Syrian government but said any military response by the United States would be measured to avoid open-ended commitments – a nod by the White House to most Americans’ reluctance to engage in another war.

    • About Steve

      "A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Steve has worked for Reuters in Washington for 20 years, and spent 16 of those years at the White House covering Presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush. He covered the 2008 presidential campaign."
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