McCain: US-Russia deal Ďa loserí
Iran Press TV
Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:29AM GMT
Senator John McCain, an influential Republican from Arizona, has criticized as “a loser” the US agreement with Russia to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons.
“It gave Russia a position in the Middle East which they haven’t had since 1970,” McCain said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.
After three days of intense negotiations on Saturday, Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, agreed on a framework for Syria to provide a list of its chemical weapons within a week, allow inspectors into the country by November, and remove all its chemical weapons by mid-2014.
Republicans have slammed the Obama administration for ceding its leverage by backing off a threat of military action against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and playing into the hands of the Russians.
“We are now depending on the good will of the Russian people if Bashar Assad violates this agreement. And I am of the firm belief, given his record, that is a very, very big gamble.”
Shortly after the deal was announced on Saturday, McCain and South Carolina's Lindsey Graham released a statement criticizing the accord as "an act of provocative weakness" by America.
"It requires a willful suspension of disbelief to see this agreement as anything other than the start of a diplomatic blind alley, and the Obama administration is being led into it by Bashar Assad and [Russian president] Vladimir Putin," the statement said.
US President Barack Obama first threatened a military strike on the Syrian government based on the accusation that it used chemical weapons in an attack last month. In a surprise move, however, the president turned to Congress for authorization. As the administration was lobbying lawmakers, Russia offered its proposal to avert a strike.
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