National Car Rental
Apr 17, 2014
  GoDubai Daily News
 Home
 UAE
 Middle East
 Asia
 World
 Business
 Sports
 Entertainment


  Go Dubai Services
 Daily Horoscope
 Tip of the day
 Recipe of the day
 Joke of the day
 Weather
 Events (UAE)
 Press releases
 Prayer timings
 Opinion poll

Want to know the cheapest airfare to your dream destination?

Ask Our Travel Experts

Other Experts

  • Medical Doctors
  • Alternative Therapists
  • Finance Consultant
  • Real Estate Agents
  • Computer Experts
  • Beauty Therapists
  • Auto Expert
  • Seeking Experts
  •   
    Obama: Russia plan on Syria arms may be ‘breakthrough’

    President Barack Obama said a Russian plan to head off threatened US strikes on Syria by securing a deal to destroy the regime’s chemical weapons could be a “significant breakthrough.”

    Obama warned Monday he had not taken military strikes off the table but, in agreeing to consider the Russian initiative, he effectively pushed back the timetable for possible action.

    The US leader had intended to spend the day selling his plan to launch punitive military strikes against Bashar Al Assad’s regime to skeptical American voters and lawmakers.

    Instead, he found himself responding to a surprise Russian diplomatic initiative which would see Assad’s stockpile of banned chemical arms taken under international control.

    Obama, who faces a tough task winning Congressional approval for even a limited military action, admitted that US lawmakers were not close to voting on the issue.

    “I don’t anticipate that you would see a succession of votes this week or anytime in the immediate future,” he told ABC news.

    And, in a series of television interviews, he insisted it had only come about because Assad and his allies in Moscow could see the United States was serious about using force.

    “I think what we’re seeing is that a credible threat of a military strike from the United States, supported potentially by a number of other countries around the world, has given them pause and makes them consider whether or not they would make this move,” he told NBC.

    “And if they do, then this could potentially be a significant breakthrough. But we have to be skeptical because this is not how we’ve seen them operate over the last couple of years.”

    In separate interviews with several US broadcasters, Obama said he had discussed the issue with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin at last week’s G20 summit in Saint Petersburg.

    “If we can exhaust these diplomatic efforts and come up with an ... enforceable mechanism to deal with these chemical weapons in Syria, then I’m all for it,” he told Fox.

    Washington’s European allies gave a similarly cautious welcome to the plan, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued his own plea for a mission to secure and dispose of the weapons.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had met his Syrian counterpart and urged Damascus to “place chemical weapons under international control and then to have them destroyed.”

    Speaking in Moscow, Syria’s Foreign Minster Walid al-Muallem welcomed the Russian move, though it was not immediately clear if a still defiant Assad would give his assent.

    The rebels battling Assad, who hoped to see US missiles rain down on the regime, denounced the idea as a plot by Putin to protect Assad.

    Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron also expressed concern that the plan might be “a distraction tactic” but broadly welcomed it.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the Kremlin’s proposal as “interesting” but added that she hoped it would be put into place quickly and not simply be used to “buy time.”

    And France, the only Western ally to have offered to take part in a US-led strike, said Assad must commit “without delay” to the elimination of his chemical arsenal.

    United Nations leader Ban, meanwhile, called for the creation of UN supervised zones in Syria where the country’s chemical weapons can be destroyed.

    He told reporters he may propose the zones to the Security Council if UN inspectors confirm banned weapons were used and to overcome the council’s “embarrassing paralysis” over Syria.

    For his part, Assad warned earlier in an interview with US television that the United States will “pay the price” if it attacks Syria.

    While Obama portrayed Russia’s idea as a victory for Washington’s policy of threatening military action, it still leaves him in a domestic political bind.

    Having chosen to seek Congressional support for a limited US military strike against Syria, he could be defeated on his home turf.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would delay a key procedural vote on authorizing force until after Obama makes a national address on the issue on Tuesday.

    “I wouldn’t say I’m confident,” Obama said of the prospect of his winning the impending votes.

    “I’m confident that the members of Congress are taking this issue very seriously and they’re doing their homework and I appreciate that.”

    Opposition is strong to a measure that is opposed by a majority of US voters, weary of war after drawn out, bloody and inconclusive American missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The lower house of the US Congress, the House of Representatives, is led by Republicans who oppose Obama’s every move.

    Some anti-war Democrats are also expected to oppose the motion, and the support of pro-war neo-conservatives in the Republican ranks may not be enough to push it through.

    But US cruise missile destroyers are idling in the Eastern Mediterranean, preparing for what American officials described as a limited punitive strike.

    According to US intelligence, on August 21 a chemical attack against rebel-held suburbs of Damascus killed more than 1,400 people, including 400 children gassed in their beds.

    Obama has argued that a military strike is necessary to defend the long-established international taboo against the use of chemical weapons.

    He has refused to rule out acting alone, with neither congressional nor international support, but a political defeat at home would be a blow to his credibility and strengthen Assad’s hand.

    Fighting erupted in Syria in March 2011 when Assad’s forces launched a brutal crackdown on a popular revolt against his rule, and soon escalated into an all-out civil war. The UN estimates more than 100,000 have died.

    (AFP)

     
    Email this article Print this article Discuss this article
     
     
    Back to World Main page >>

    How to be a soccer fan in the age of austerity

    GDANSK - Couch-surfing, a junk-food diet, bootleg kits, budget flights at punishing hours, and above all enough passion for the beautiful game to remind yourself why you endure this.
    Welcome to the life of a football fan in the age of austerity. <...
    The number game

    WITH THE world’s second most populated country readying to go to the hustings from April 7, demographics are going to play an important role in determining the results. This time, it is the young and first-time voters who are expected to make a difference.

     
    Great Discounts on Dubai Hotels. Book Now !
     
      More Top Stories


    Dubai Q1 trade hits Dh326b
    Dubai Holding unit’s profit jumps
    Emaar Properties launches ‘Samara’ villas
    Expo 2020 boosts growth, investment opportunities
    Nakheel eyes Dh8 billion new projects
    Empower acquires Palm Utilities in $500m deal
    China may overtake US as No. 1 economy
    Dubai Investments exports rocket 129% in last 5 years
    UAE equities to stay bullish
    Dubai foreign trade crosses Dh1 trillion
    Expo win inspiring Dubai Financial Market
    Dubai looks all set to enjoy heightened investor interest
    Dubai to hike spending 11%
    Dubai to lead Islamic economy
    Islamic economy summit begins today
    UAE jumps in IDI ranking
    Dubai tracks new levels of growth
    More housing units in Dubai
    UAE job market rebounds
    Safe haven status helps Dubai real estate recover
    Islamic finance industry is fastest growing sector

     
    © 2004 GoDubai.com
    All Rights Reserved.
    Terms under which this service is provided to you.
    Read our privacy guidelines.
    Contact our advertising team for advertising /promotions and
    sponsorship on GoDubai.com