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Obama On Syria At UNGA

Obama at UNGA. (Sept. 24, 2013)
Obama at UNGA. (Sept. 24, 2013)

President Barack Obama said the international community must enforce the ban on chemical weapons.

Speaking to United Nations General Assembly regarding Syria, President Barack Obama said the international community must enforce the ban on chemical weapons – a ban that has been agreed to by 98 percent of humanity.

Obama On Syria At UNGA
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The evidence is overwhelming that the Assad regime used such weapons on August 21, said President Obama:

U.N inspectors gave a clear accounting that advanced rockets fired large quantities of sarin gas at civilians. These rockets were fired from a regime-controlled neighborhood, and landed in opposition neighborhoods.

In the past several weeks, the United States, Russia and their allies have reached an agreement to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international control, and then destroy them.

The Syrian government took a first step by giving an accounting of its stockpiles. “Now, there must be a strong Security Council Resolution to verify that the Assad regime is keeping its commitments, and there must be consequences if they fail to do so,” said President Obama:

“If we cannot agree even on this, then it will show that the U.N. is incapable of enforcing the most basic of international laws. On the other hand, if we succeed, it will send a powerful message that the use of chemical weapons has no place in the 21st century, and that this body means what it says.”

An agreement on chemical weapons should open the door to a larger diplomatic effort to reach a political settlement in Syria. Assad’s role in slaughtering his own people, including gassing them has robbed him of any legitimacy to lead Syria. As President Obama said, “The notion that Syria can return to a pre-war status quo is a fantasy. It’s time for Russia and Iran to realize that insisting on Assad’s rule will lead directly to the outcome they fear: an increasingly violent space for extremists to operate.”

America’s interest in Syria is the well-being of its people, the stability of its neighbors, the elimination of chemical weapons, and ensuring it does not become a safe-haven for terrorists. The United States welcomes the influence of all nations that can help bring about a peaceful resolution of Syria’s civil war.