Russia sends delegation to US Congress over Syria

Russia sends delegation to US Congress over Syria
Mon Sep 2, 2013 19:50:06

Russia is planning to send a parliamentary delegation to the United States to negotiate with the Congress over Syria, amid Washington’s threats to attack the Arab country.

"The initiative is very timely and correct," President Vladimir Putin told speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament Valentina Matviyenko and speaker of the lower house of parliament Sergei Naryshkin on Monday.

"Holding direct dialogue with the US parliament on the Syrian problem" will be a significant contribution to Russian-American relations, Putin said.

The meeting comes after US President Barack Obama had to retreat from ordering a strike on Syria and seek approval of the Congress after he faced international condemnation over the attack.

The latest Kremlin initiative appears aimed at persuading the US Congress to vote down Obama's request, although it is unclear what sway the Russian delegates could have over US lawmakers.

"We would like to address the Senate and the Congress," said Matviyenko, noting the delegation would try to travel to the United States before September 9 when US lawmakers return from their summer recess.

Russia has strongly opposed to US attack on Syria.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that the evidence that US says proves Syrian government was behind an alleged chemical attack was not convincing at all.

Washington seems determined to go with its controversial plans to bomb Syria as according to reports interviews from locals and anti-government Syrian rebels suggested the Saudi-backed miltiants were responsible for the attack.

The Syrian government has already called for UN action against several cases of chemical attacks by anti-Syria militants in the country and it also helped a visiting UN team of inspectors to investigate the story.

Syria also says the attack was actually carried out by the foreign-backed militants to open the way for their Western and regional supporters to attack Syria.

Despite killing of at least 100,000 people in the massive insurgency in Syria, the US had said that it would enter the conflict if a chemical attack was carried out.


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