Obama in Stockholm: International community credibility is on the line in Syria


Published Wednesday,September 4, 2013/5.43 p.m. CEST/

AFP video: Obama: World “cannot be silent” on Syria ( Courtesy of AFP YouTube account)

The USA President Barack Obama on his first bilateral two-day visit to Sweden today said it is hopeful that Russian President Vladimir Putin can change his views on Syria strikes and that he is always “hopeful in international action will be more effective”. In a joint press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Frederik Reinfeldts, President Obama tried to send a global message for a possible support of a military action in Syria.

He reassured again his suggestion to action in Syria should not involve presence of the troops on the ground.

“I hold out hope that Mr. Putin may change his position on some of these issues?  I’m always hopeful.  And I will continue to engage him because I think that international action would be much more effective and ultimately we can end deaths much more rapidly if Russia takes a different approach to these problems”, stated President Barack Obama in Sweden.

Facing skepticism at home even and dissonant voices in the USA House of Representatives, he repeated that even though he can make its decision, it is important to have Congress support. During the short visit to Europe before he would to Russia on the G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg, President Obama faced with question of Swedish journalists, mostly related to his Nobel Peace Prize award and definition of what the “red line” for chemical attacks means to him.

Trying to assure possibilities for support in eventual strikes on Syria, President Obama underlined that is not his credibility questioned, rather that “international community credibility is on the line” “I didn’t set a red line, the world set a red line,” he said.

“The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of world population said the use of chemical weapons are abhorrent.”, according to The Associated Press news agency report, adding “Congress set its own red line when it ratified the treaty”.

He stated that as a Nobel Peace Prize winner, as someone who ended wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is difficult and challenging every single day thinking how three or two-year old children are gassed, underlying the number presented by the American intelligence that over 400 children died in alleged attacks chemical weapons attack in Syria.

Although, it was unclear whether the country of which the leading person of U.N. investigator team is, will support or not the USA in an eventual military intervention in Syria.

Instead, in a closing remarks to the press conference, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldts said his country decided to allow staying in Sweden to all those who arrived in his country from Syria and that they believe in the U.N. and would like to wait for the U.N. investigators results.

“The weapons inspector that was present in Damascus is headed by a Swede, so in this country, of course, we are asking for the time to be able to see what were their findings, especially since President Obama has sent the decision also to Congress. We think that that gives us some more time, and we are welcoming that”, state while joint press conference Swedish Prime Minister Reinfildts.

President Barack Obama visit in Swedish media was described as a first time visit to talk on free trade agreement, euro crisis, climate change and Syria crisis. Part of the media in Sweden shared more information on trade exchange between Sweden and USA, than Syria. Of the information presented in Swedish media on the visit was that there is no big difference between the salaries of the USA President Obama and Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldts.

Aside points on Syria, President Obama send the message USA respect and admire Sweden as “obviously an extraordinary leader when it comes to tackling climate change and increasing energy efficiency and developing new technologies and the goal of achieving a carbon-neutral economy is remarkable”.

After Sweden, President Barack Obama should go in Russia to St. Petersburg for G-20 Summit.

President Obama have two scheduled face-to-face meetings while G-20 Summit in St, Petersburg, according to Bloomberg. Their correspondent for G-20 Summit stated the White House has not scheduled face-to-face meeting of President Obama with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Although the possible meeting of two presidents could happen on the side of G-20 Summit in Russia.

“In an interview with The Associated Press, Putin said that Russia “doesn’t exclude” supporting a United Nations resolution on a strike — if it is proved that the Syrian regime indeed used poison gas on its people”, reports NBCNews.com.

While on the overseas official visits in Sweden and Russia, in the USA, those responsible for foreign policy and national security issues hold classified sessions in the U.S House of Representatives.

State Secretary John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Joint Chief of Staff of the USA Army and first national security advisers of President Obama should continue with closed-door meetings with senators for sharing parts of American intelligence data were not disclosed to the public before Labor Day weekend press statement of State Secretary John Kerry.

In the phase two after yesterday’s hearing of first person of the U.S. diplomacy and military, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee should vote on Wednesday on this committee resolution as proposal to the President Barack Obama request for an authorization of the Congress for a possible limited military action in Syria.

State Secretary John Kerry testified in the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday where he stated that: “the USA reached out to over 100 countries on Syria.  reports The Hill (http://thehill.com).

With the shortage of international support for the USA plans for a limited military action in Syria, State Secretary Kerry expects countries to join initiative and stated “he will be meeting with the foreign ministers of Europe, the 28 foreign ministers in Vilnius on Saturday, where Syria will be topic for discussion”.

Anti-War protesters with hands colored in rad protested during the House of Foreign Affairs Committee hearing of Secretary Kerry. According to new released ABC News/Washington Post poll 59% of Americans oppose U.S. missile strike in Syria.

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