Recently in U.S. Diplomacy Category

President Obama’s Statement on Framework for Removing Chemical Weapons Out of Syria

In a statement issued September 14, 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama said, “I welcome the progress made between the United States and Russia through our talks in Geneva, which represents an important, concrete step toward the goal of moving Syria's chemical weapons under international control so that they may ultimately be destroyed.” Mr. Obama added:

This framework provides the opportunity for the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons in a transparent, expeditious, and verifiable manner, which could end the threat these weapons pose not only to the Syrian people but to the region and the world. The international community expects the Assad regime to live up to its public commitments.

president_official_portrait_hiresWhile we have made important progress, much more work remains to be done. The United States will continue working with Russia, the United Kingdom, France, the United Nations and others to ensure that this process is verifiable, and that there are consequences should the Assad regime not comply with the framework agreed today. And, if diplomacy fails, the United States remains prepared to act.

Following the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons to kill more than 1,000 men, women, and children on August 21, I decided that the United States must take action to deter the Syrian regime from using chemical weapons, degrade their ability to use them, and make clear to the world that we will not tolerate their use. In part because of the credible threat of U.S. military force, we now have the opportunity to achieve our objectives through diplomacy. I spoke to Secretary Kerry earlier today and thanked him for his tireless and effective efforts on behalf of our nation. I also spoke to Ambassador Samantha Power who will ably lead our follow-on negotiations at the UN Security Council in New York.

Mr. Obama reiterated his oft-repeated statement that, “The use of chemical weapons anywhere in the world is an affront to human dignity and a threat to the security of people everywhere. We have a duty to preserve a world free from the fear of chemical weapons for our children,” he said. “Today marks an important step towards achieving this goal.”

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Syrian Diplomat Thinks U.S. Congress Will Show Wisdom on Syria

On September 2, 2013,  CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer interviewed Faisal Mekdad, Syria's deputy foreign minister, about President Barack Obama’s August 31, 2013, decision to seek debate in the U.S. Congress before launching an attack on Syria, to punish Syria President Bashar al-Assad for reportedly attacking Syrian civilians with chemical agents on August 21, 2013.

"The Middle East is already on fire now," Mr. Mekdad told Ms. Palmer. "And we think any wisdom in the United States -- and we hope the Congress will exercise this wisdom -- will not allow the United States to tarnish its image once again in wars in the Middle East."

Mr. Mekdad’s statement is in stark a contrast to that of a “Syrian state-run newspaper  who on September 1, 2012, 2013, mocked Mr. Obama’s decision to consult Congress as "the start of the historic American retreat.”

For more, see “Putting Plans Russian Delegation to Sway Congress on Syria Strike.” Mr. Mekdad is quoted in it.

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Will Syria Define John Kerry’s Legacy?

The Wall Street Journal’s  Jay Solomon seems to think U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s legacy will be determined by how well he garners support for President Barack Obama’s plan to militarily punish Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons against Syrians on August 21, 2013, and how it affects the outcome of the Syrian civil war.

“U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been on the international stage for nearly four decades,” he wrote in “Kerry's Syria Campaign Likely to Define His Legacy,” which was published September 1, 2013.  “ But his campaign against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad likely will define his diplomatic legacy.”

Does that mean that Syria is Mr. Kerry will concentrate on during his tenure as U.S.  Secretary of State. I doubt it, Mr. Solomon.

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