Congress Briefed as Kerry Preps for Geneva

By Dustin Wlodkowski 9-11-13

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Congress and the Secretary of State are preparing for tough debates about Syria.

While members of Congress continued receiving classified briefings on the situation in Syria today, Secretary of State John Kerry’s was preparing for his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva tomorrow.

They are beginning to make decisions about a recently proposed Russian and Syrian plan.  It would allow the international community to  destroy Syria’s chemical weapons. In return, Syria would not be attacked.

As representatives left the closed door meetings, some gave remarks that indicate areas of consensus on the issue.

“It’s clear to most of my colleagues that the credible prospect of force compelled the Russians to offer this path,” said Democratic Congressman Steve Israel from New York. “Now we have to make sure that this path is, in itself, credible.”

Others, like Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen, outlined just how long Congress and the President might wait for the Russian-Syrian plan to take shape.

“I think we can certainly test the seriousness about it one week, two weeks,” he said. “Obviously, in terms of getting a full-fledged plan, that takes longer. But you can, I think, judge people’s intentions relatively quickly.”

Meanwhile, after a long day on Capitol Hill yesterday, Secretary Kerry leaves for Geneva tonight.

He and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov will discuss the Russian and Syrian proposal in more detail.