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Diplomatic efforts are continuing today to end the Syrian crisis after the five permanent members of the Unite Nations Security Council met to discuss a possible UN security resolution. The five veto-wielding members of the Security
There are suggestions that efforts are taking place to arrange peace talks between President Bashar Assad's government and rebels battling against his regime. The five veto-wielding members of the Security Council are as follows:
- The United States
All five representatives left Russia's UN mission without commenting.
US President Barack Obama faces a dilemma over whether to buy a Russian proposal to hand Syria's chemical weapons over to international control, or pursue military strikes.
As Americans pause to remember the victims of the Twin Towers attack 12 years ago, public opinion in the US remains largely opposed to another campaign in the Middle East.
Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts continue to test the Russian proposal and to see if it can garner enough support at the UN.
ITV News' Washington Correspondent Robert Moore reports:
The UN envoys for the five permanent members of the Security Council will meet in New York later today to discuss the Syria crisis, Reuters reports citing diplomatic sources.
The US, British, Chinese, French and Russian diplomats are expected to discuss a French draft resolution that would give the Syrian government an ultimatum to give up its chemical arsenal or face punitive measures, a text that Russia has said is unacceptable.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Syria must be stripped of its chemical weapons and that it had carried out a "crime against humanity"
Netanyahu said that Syria's ally Iran was watching to see how the world reacted, and that any message sent to the regime "will be received loudly in Iran".
"It must be ensured that the Syrian regime is stripped of its chemical weapons, and the world must make sure that whoever uses weapons of mass destruction pays a price for it," Netanyahu said.
Russia has presented its plan for placing Syria's chemical weapons under international control to the US, according to the Russian Interfax news agency.
US President Barack Obama has used a televised address to the nation to talk about Syria and a possible diplomatic resolution to the crisis.
He pledged to work directly with Russia to force the Assad regime to give up its chemical weapons.
However, he stressed that he has ordered the US military to "be in a position to respond" if such measures fail
ITV News' Washington Correspondent Robert Moore reports.
Iran's supreme leader has said he hopes that a US promise to pursue diplomacy to remove the threat of chemical weapons in Syria was "serious", state news agency IRNA has reported.
In a public address, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said: "I am hopeful that the United States new attitude to Syria is serious and not a game with the media."
Iran is the main regional ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad,
US President Barack Obama has pledged to explore a Russian plan to remove Syria's chemical arsenal.
But he has also voiced scepticism about it and urged Americans to support his threat to use military force if needed.
Tense negotiations have begun on a proposed UN resolution that would put Syria's chemical weapons under international control, a French official has said.
But the plan for Syria to turn over its chemical weapons, initiated by Russia, could hit a stumbling block, as Moscow rejected US and French demands for a binding UN resolution with "very severe consequences" for non-compliance.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Russia objected not only to making the resolution militarily enforceable, but also to blaming the 21 August attack on the Syrian government and demanding that those responsible be taken before an international criminal court.
Syrian government forces massacred civilians, bombed hospitals and committed other war crimes in push to regain territory, Reuters reports, citing United Nations rights investigators.
A report also said that rebels and foreign fighters have committed war crimes including executions, hostage-taking and shelling civilian areas.
President Obama says he will pursue diplomatic efforts to remove Syria's chemical weapons but has ordered the US military to "be in a position to respond" if such measures fail.
"We will work together in consultation with Russia and China to put forward a resolution at the UN Security Council requiring Assad to give up his chemical weapons and to ultimately destroy them under international control."
"Meanwhile, I've ordered our military to maintain their current posture, to keep the pressure on Assad and to be in a position to respond if diplomacy fails."