The US has joined diplomatic efforts to prevent military strikes against Syria under a Russian plan to take control of its stockpile of chemical weapons and destroy it.
White House officials have said the US has begun working with allies at the UN to explore and push the plan, which the Russians have said they will bring in the “near future”.
France has said it was preparing to move a UN Security Council resolution that would make Syria’s surrender of its chemical weapons militarily enforceable.
The UK said it was willing to work with the US on the French proposal. But prime minister David Cameron cautioned against any “delaying tactics”.
He has also said the UK will be tabling a resolution with the US and France at the UN SC. It could be aimed at testing Russia’s plan -- that it will lead to the destruction of its arsenal.
A group of US lawmakers has also begun redrafting the authorization sough by the Obama administration fro military strikes to punish Syria for its use of chemical weapons.
They want the authorization to now give the Russian plan time.
The military option remains on the table though, with some officials arguing it was, in fact, the threat of strikes that forced Syria to yield, and agree to give up its chemical weapons.
Obama will be making a case for it once again in a nationally televised address later on Tuesday, hoping to sell it to a sceptical nation, which remains opposed to strikes, polls show.
Congressional hearings on the president’s request for authorization continued. The Senate was expected to vote on the proposal on Wednesday, but that may change now.