French draft UN Syria resolution

An initial French draft UN Security Council resolution on Syria would demand a complete declaration of all chemical weapons within 15 days.

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Kerry: US 'will not wait long' for Syria weapons proposal

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Credit: Reuters/Gary Cameron

The United States is waiting to see a real and verifiable plan from Russia for removing chemical weapons from Syria but will not wait long, Secretary of State John Kerry has warned.

"We're waiting for that proposal. But we're not waiting for long," Kerry told a hearing of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee.

"President Obama will take a hard look at it. But it has to be swift, it has to be real, it has to be verifiable. It cannot be a delaying tactic," Kerry told the panel.

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US Senate 'may not vote on Syria action this week'

The US Senate may not vote this week on whether to authorise the use of military force in Syria, congressional aides told Reuters.

The view of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., today.
The view of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., today. Credit: RTV

Congressional leaders also want to wait to assess the public's response to President Barack Obama's address to the American people on Syria later tonight, several unnamed aides added.

It comes in light of Syria's recent acceptance of a Russian proposal to give up its chemical weapons.

Hague: Must make sure Syria plan not distraction tactic

Foreign Secretary William Hague said the international community has to make sure Syria's agreement to hand over its weapons "is not just a distraction tactic."

Foreign Secretary William Hague speaking in South Africa.
Foreign Secretary William Hague speaking in South Africa. Credit: RTV

Mr Hague told a news conference in South Africa, "If there is a serious and genuine offer from the Assad regime to put its chemical weapons beyond use under international supervision, then that would be welcome and we would encourage that".

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Obama to press ahead with Congress request on Syria

US President Barack Obama will press ahead with his plan to ask Congress to approve the use of military force in Syria, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

"What the President said last night reflects where we are this morning - we see this as potentially a positive development and we see this as a clear result of the pressure that has been put on Syria," Mr Carney said on MSNBC.

White House press secretary Jay Carney.
White House press secretary Jay Carney. Credit: Olivier Douliery/ABACAUSA.com

It comes as Syria said it would accept a Russian proposal to give up its chemical weapons.

The White House wants to verify that Syria is serious, therefore President Obama will visit Capitol Hill later today to ask congressional members to authorise limited strikes on Syria, Mr Carney added.

Obama to still make Syria military action speech tonight

US President Barack Obama will still make the case that Congress should authorise military force in Syria during a speech tonight, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

President Barack Obama made a series of US television interviews on Syria yesterday.
President Barack Obama made a series of US television interviews on Syria yesterday. Credit: REUTERS/Pete Souza/The White House/Handout via Reuters

Mr Carney told MSNBC that the White House is talking to leaders and members of Congress about timetables for a vote, but that congressional authorisation will take time.

Arab League chief issues support for Syria weapons plan

The head of the Arab League has expressed support for Russia's proposal to put Syria's chemical weapons under international control.

Nabil Elaraby told reporters that the Arab League has always been in favour of a "political resolution," adding, "Thank God."

The Arab League has blamed the Syrian government for the alleged chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August, however it did not support military action without UN consent.

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