WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in talks Thursday in Geneva, Switzerland with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about the specifics of how the Syrian regime’s stockpile of chemical weapons will be identified, verified and destroyed.
But Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) said the U.S. must proceed carefully with those diplomatic efforts.
“I think a diplomatic solution absolutely is the answer here,” she said. “(But) It’s difficult for me to trust what, I think, has been an untrustful adversary in a lot of ways.”
U.S. State Department officials said the talks would likely last for several days and the U.S. is looking for a “credible and authentic way forward” that is “verifiable and that can happen expeditiously.”
On Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Capito said she had a lot of questions for leaders of both Russia and Syria. “Would they actually, really, secure these chemical weapons? Remember, (Syrian President Bashar) Assad said he had no chemical weapons and then, four days later, says he does.”
She said she is still opposed to a U.S. military strike on Syria. President Barack Obama has not ruled out such an attack if diplomatic efforts to secure Syria’s chemical weapons, used in an Aug. 21 attack on civilians, are not successful.
Capito said she does not think the threat of such U.S. actions prompted this week’s alternative proposal from Russia. “From where I sit, it more appears to be simply happenstance or, sort of, luck for the President that Russia stepped in and offered a diplomatic solution,” she said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote an editorial for The New York Times that criticized President Obama and said a U.S. military attack on Syria could “unleash a new wave of terrorism” in the Middle East.