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Clinton: If Syria turns over chemical weapons it would be an ‘important step’

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke today about the current situation in Syria and the new proposal today from Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, that his country will urge Syria to put its chemical weapons supply under international control if doing so would avert U.S. military action. The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also said he is considering asking the Security Council to demand the Syrian government immediately hand over its chemical weapons to be destroyed.

Clinton, speaking from the White House said if the Syrian government immediately surrendered its chemical weapons stockpiles to international control, “that would be an important step”.

"But this cannot be another excuse for delay or obstruction. And Russia has to support the international community's efforts sincerely or be held to account," said Clinton.

Hillary Clinton noted that this proposal from Russia’s Foreign Minister only came about because of the current threat of military intervention, that the United States will “keep pressure on the Syrian government as well as those supporting Syria, like Russia."

"It is very important to note," she told reporters, "that this discussion that has taken hold today about potential international control over Syria's stockpiles only could take place in the context of a credible military threat by the United States to keep pressure on the Syrian government as well as those supporting Syria, like Russia."

It is important to note that while the White House today said that they will take a “hard look” at this new proposal from Russia, the ultimate decision to turn over Syria’s stock pile of chemical weapons must be made by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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