Obama Agrees to UN Discussion of Russia Proposal on Syria Chemical Weapons

Sep 10, 2013 11:08 AM

President Barack Obama has agreed to discuss Russia's proposal that Syria hand over chemical weapons, the White House said Tuesday after Damascus confirmed it would accept such a deal.

Talks will begin at the United Nations later Tuesday, a White House official told NBC News, even as Obama prepares to address Congress -- and the American people -- to make the case for authorization to use military strikes if diplomatic solutions fail.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said the U.S., France and Britain would propose a UN Security Council resolution shortly.

Earlier, Syria Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem told NBC News in Moscow that he hoped acceptance of the "peaceful solution" would "put an end to the war."

The building momentum behind Russia's plan, which had already been endorsed by China and Iran, came only 24 hours after Secretary of State John Kerry first suggested a weapons handover at a news conference in London.

Obama said Monday that the Russia plan offered a potential path that averted U.S. military strikes, but Kerry cautioned that the only reason the Russia solution has "potential legs at all" is because of a credible threat of force.

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