WASHINGTON -- President Obama on Friday praised a deal reached at the United Nations to get rid of Syria's chemical weapons cache as "a significant step forward" for the war-torn country and “a potentially huge victory for the international community.”
Obama said he believes a proposed U.N. Security Council resolution shows that the international community is "not just gathering to talk but also is able to take concerted action on behalf of enforcing international norms and preserving everybody's security."
The newly crafted resolution calls for Syria to relinquish its chemical weapons stockpile and infrastructure to international inspectors, who will be empowered to remove, disable or destroy them. The Security Council could vote on the resolution as early as Friday night, and passage is assured because all five permanent members have signaled support.
If Syria fails to comply with the disarmament plan, the Security Council would consider follow-up measures that might include sanctions or military force.
Speaking to reporters after an Oval Office meeting with visiting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Obama said the resolution still leaves "a lot of work to be done."
"I think, rightly, people have been concerned about whether Syria will follow through on the commitments that have been laid forth, and I think there are legitimate concerns as to how, technically, we are going to be getting those chemical weapons out while there is still fighting going on on the ground," Obama said.
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