After failing to reach a consensus on taking military action in Syria at the G20 Summit, President Barack Obama announced Friday that he will take his case directly to the American people next week.
In a press conference at the conclusion of the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, Obama argued that the Syrian government's alleged use of chemical weapons is a "threat to global peace and security."
Obama claimed that the use of chemical weapons threatens to further destabilize the Middle East and increases the risk that the weapons will fall into the hands of terrorist groups.
The president also reiterated his belief that failing to respond would send a signal to other rogue nations, authoritarian regimes, and terrorist organizations that they can develop and use weapons of mass destruction without consequence.
"This is why nations around the world have condemned Syria for this attack and called for action," Obama said. "I've been encouraged by discussions with my fellow leaders this week; there is a growing recognition that the world cannot stand idly by."
"Leaders from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East have come together to say that the international norm against the use of chemical weapons must be upheld, and that the Assad regime used these weapons on its own people, and that, as a consequence, there needs to be a strong response," he added.
Despite Obama's claims, reports suggest that the G20 Summit did not result in a clear consensus regarding what actions should be taken against Syria, with Russia and China continuing to oppose the use of the military force.
Subsequently, Obama noted that he will continue to consult with his fellow leaders around the world as well as Congress, which also seems split regarding U.S. military action in Syria.
The president also announced that he intends to address the American people from the White House on Tuesday, saying that he will make the best case he can for taking "necessary and appropriate action."
"The kind of world we live in and our ability to deter this kind of outrageous behavior is going to depend on the decisions that we make in the days ahead," Obama said.
He added, "And I'm confident that if we deliberate carefully and we choose wisely, and embrace our responsibilities, we can meet the challenges of this moment as well as those in the days ahead."
Obama suggested that his main goal would be to make the American people understand that U.S. military action in Syria would be limited and proportional and specifically designed to address the problem of the use of chemical weapons.
by RTT Staff Writer
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