Obama vague on influence in Syria
Published: Thursday, May 16, 2013, 7:48 p.m.
WASHINGTON — President Obama said on Thursday he reserved the right to resort to both diplomatic and military options to pressure Syrian President Bashar Assad, but insisted that U.S. action alone would not be enough to resolve the Syrian crisis.
Taking a cautious line at a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, Obama voiced hope that the United States and Russia would succeed in arranging an international peace conference on Syria, despite signs of growing obstacles.
Erdogan had been expected to push Obama, at least in private, for more assertive action on Syria during a visit to Washington this week, days after car bombs tore through a Turkish border town in the deadliest spillover of violence yet.
Obama — who has been reluctant to arm Syrian rebels or become enmeshed militarily in the conflict — made no mention of deeper engagement in Syria during an appearance at the White House, where the leaders sought to project a united front.
“What we have to do is apply steady international pressure,” Obama said.
Both leaders stressed the need to bring the Syrian government and opposition to the negotiating table after more than two years of fighting that has killed more than 80,000 people and risks destabilizing the volatile Middle East.
But Russia's insistence that Iran, a U.S. foe and Assad supporter, take part in any international talks on Syria could further complicate efforts to organize the meeting.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tehran must have a role in the conference, but that Western states wanted to limit the participants and possibly predetermine the outcome of the talks.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Putin’s national address to Russians raises fears of possible incursion into southeastern Ukraine
- Chaos prevailed on bridge as South Korean ferry listed, crewman says
- U.S. to release $450M for Iran
- Afghan officials say detainment of Taliban commander thwarts peace process
- Expert witness for Pistorius blistered again
- Seabed data analyzed; oil discounted
- Syrian regime, rebels trade blame in chemical attack in Kfar Zeita
- Taliban drop ceasefire, put Pakistani peace talks in doubt
- Russia quiets Voice of America
- Death toll in South Korean ferry sinking likely to drastically climb
- Robotic sub deployed in search for missing plane; oil slick investigated