Obama: too early to tell whether diplomacy in Syria will work

WASHINGTON Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:28pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the nation about the situation in Syria from the East Room at the White House in Washington, September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Evan Vucci/POOL

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the nation about the situation in Syria from the East Room at the White House in Washington, September 10, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Evan Vucci/POOL

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged Americans to back a potential strike on Syria and said it was too early to say whether a diplomatic effort to get Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to turn over control of the country's chemical weapons would be successful.

"It's too early to tell whether this offer will succeed," Obama said during a prime-time address from the White House, referring to a proposal by Russia.

"And any agreement must verify that the Assad regime keeps its commitments. But this initiative has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force."

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Bill Trott)

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