Washington D.C. – Congressman Eliot Engel, the senior Democratic Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement on reports that Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad are stalling attempts at the United Nations to come to an agreement on the disposal of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal.
“I am increasingly concerned by reports that Putin and Assad are stalling attempts at the United Nations to come to an agreement on the disposal of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal. Assad and his Russian patrons must know that Congress is united behind the President in his attempt to forge ahead with a diplomatic solution to this crisis. However, if Moscow and Damascus continue to stonewall and obfuscate, Putin and Assad must not forget that President Obama’s threat of military force in Syria is still very much on the table. While the preference of Congress is for a peaceful solution, I believe we will certainly revisit the White House’s request for authority to compel Assad to give up his deadly chemical arsenal if he does not take these diplomatic initiatives seriously.”