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Obama pleased with Syria agreement, Levin releases statement
WASHINGTON (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - President Barack Obama says he's welcoming a new agreement to secure and destroy Syria's weapons.
But the U.S. is still prepared to act if the Syrian government does not comply.
The agreement made Saturday by Secretary of State John Kerry and the Russian foreign minister calls for Syria to eliminate all its chemical weapons by the middle of next year, or face United Nations penalties.
The president says the U.S. is working with the U.N. to ensure the process to eliminate those stockpiles is verifiable.
U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement Saturday after the United States and Russia announced a framework agreement for eliminating Syrias chemical weapons arsenal:
Todays framework agreement represents significant progress toward protecting our national security and global stability. An enforceable agreement with the potential to eliminate Syrias chemical weapons would be an even better outcome than the goals of the authorization approved just a few days ago not just deterring and degrading Assads chemical weapons capability, but eliminating it altogether.
It is important for everyone, but especially for Syria and Russia, to keep in mind that as the president said, the United States remains prepared to act if Syria does not implement this agreement. Russia and Syria sought two things in any agreement: a promise on our part not to use military force, and an end to international support for the Syrian opposition. This agreement includes neither item.
Just as the credible threat of a strike against Syrias chemical capability made this framework agreement possible, we must maintain that credible threat to ensure that Assad fully complies with the agreement.