REP. MEEKS: UNDECIDED ON U.S. RESPONSE TO SYRIA’S USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS

Sep 4, 2013

 

September 3, 2013

REP. MEEKS: UNDECIDED ON U.S. RESPONSE TO SYRIA’S USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressman Gregory W. Meeks (NY-05) a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee released the following statement on his position on the U.S. response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons:

“The President’s decision to seek authorization from Congress for the use of U.S. military force in Syria is the appropriate course of action given that the situation in Syria does not indicate an imminent threat to U.S. interests or allies that would demand more immediate action.  Not only is that constitutionally the right step, it is also wise that the American people have a voice through their representatives on a matter that has such serious implications for our nation.

“The Obama administration continues to keep Congress updated as we consider the facts and weigh the next steps in response to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people.  The deplorable actions of the regime on August 21, 2013 are only the latest in a stream of barbaric acts that flout international norms.  The regime’s use of chemical weapons flagrantly violated international norms and demand international condemnation and rejection.

“As I continue to evaluate the facts and the evidence to determine if military force should be authorized, I strongly believe that any military intervention, however limited, should be international in scope. Military action, if authorized, would also necessarily be limited and with no U.S. boots on the ground.  Critically, any military action must also be multilateral.  The credibility of the international community is at stake as much as the credibility of the U.S. in responding to the Assad regime’s violations.  Acting unilaterally would be inimical to U.S. long term strategic interests.  The U.S. should not be a go-it alone nation in a globalized world. All nations' interests are at stake when any one nation violates international norms with such grave and deplorable consequences.  We are all accountable.

“At this point I am undecided.  I need to know whether other countries will be joining us in this action.  I also need to know whether any of our allies face imminent danger of retaliation by the Assad regime or its backers.  I will be attending classified briefings this week to seek answers to these concerns.” [End]