U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday before the U.N. General Assembly that he does not believe that military action will lead to a "lasting peace" in Syria, asking the Security Council of the international organization to approve a strong resolution against the use of chemical weapons.
"With respect to Syria, we believe that as a starting point, the international community must enforce the ban on chemical weapons," the president said.
Obama once again insisted that the United States considers it to be proven that the Assad government used chemical weapons against civilians in an attack on the outskirts of Damascus on Aug. 21 and he emphasized that it would be "an insult to human reason ... to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack."
After the agreement between Washington and Moscow to destroy the Syrian chemical arsenal, the United States is now seeking a Security Council resolution invoking Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which would open the door to sanctions or even to the use of force if the Syrian regime does not comply with the terms of the pact.
"Now there must be a strong Security Council resolution to verify that the Assad regime is keeping its commitments, and there must be consequences if they fail to do so," the president said.
"Agreement on chemical weapons should energize a larger diplomatic effort to reach a political settlement within Syria. I do not believe that military action - by those within Syria, or by external powers - can achieve a lasting peace," Obama said.
"I welcome the influence of all nations that can help bring about a peaceful resolution of Syria's civil war," he said.
The president also urged the world's nations to help meet humanitarian needs in Syria and neighboring countries that are hosting Syrian refugees.
The United States, he said "has committed over a billion dollars to this effort, and today I can announce that we will be providing an additional $340 million." EFE