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Carney: Russia's 'prestige on the line' over Syria strikes

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"Russia is Assad's and Syria's closest ally. Russia has played the role of blocking international efforts thus far to hold Assad accountable. And the proposition that they put forward to deal with Assad's chemical weapons presents a real opportunity, if it were to be successful," White House spokesman Jay Carney said. Carney added that every participant in the diplomatic process had "a stake in seeing it bear fruit." 

The warning came as critics of the Obama administration questioned the feasibility of the Assad regime's offer, which came as the president was looking to rally support on Capitol Hill for military strikes in retaliation for last month's chemical weapons attack outside Damascus.

On Tuesday night, the president said in a prime-time television address that he had asked congressional leaders to delay a vote authorizing that use of force while he pursued a diplomatic solution.

"It’s too early to tell whether this offer will succeed, and any agreement must verify that the Assad regime keeps its commitments," Obama said. "But this initiative has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force, particularly because Russia is one of Assad’s strongest allies."

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