John Kerry says Russia proposal on Syria must be 'swift, real, verifiable'

September 10, 2013 17:43


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WASHINGTON -- Testifying before the House Armed Services and Intelligence Committee, Secretary of State John Kerry said that President Barack Obama's preferred path through the Syrian crisis "has been and is diplomacy," as his administration takes a "hard look" at a Russian proposal that would place Syria's massive chemical arsenal under international monitor.

"It has to be swift, it has to be real, it has to be verifiable," Kerry said at the hearing with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey.

He said that the United Nations Security Council cannot become "a debating society," and voiced skepticism that Russia and China would sincerely allow for the passage of a strong resolution after years of obstructing relatively weak statements merely condemning the regime of Bashar Assad.

Assad has stockpiled over 1,000 tons of chemical arms, according to French intelligence officials.

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