Transcript: Remarks by Hillary Clinton on Syria – Sept. 9, 2013
Partial transcript of remarks by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Syria on Sept. 9, 2013:
…I’d like to say a few words about Syria. A vigorous and important debate is underway in Congress and around kitchen tables all over America. This is a challenge that has catalyzed the kind of debate that I think is good for our democracy.
As you know, this is a fluid situation with statements from Russia, Syria and others in the last several hours.
I’ve just come from a meeting with President Obama where we discussed the latest developments, and three points in particular are at the heart of the decision our country and our Congress has to make in the days ahead.
First, as the President has said, the Assad regime’s inhuman use of weapons of mass destruction against innocent men, women, and children violates a universal norm at the heart of our global order, and therefore it demands a strong response from the international community led by United States.
Second, the international community cannot ignore the ongoing threat from the Assad regime’s stockpiles of chemical weapons. Whether they are used again against Syrian civilians or transferred to Hezbollah or stolen by other terrorists, this is about protecting both the Syrian people and our friends in the region. The world will have to deal with this threat as swiftly and comprehensively as possible.
Now, if the regime immediately surrender its stockpiles to international control, as was suggested by Secretary [John] Kerry and the Russians, that would be an important step. But this cannot be another excuse for delay or obstruction, and Russia has to support the international community’s efforts sincerely or be held to account.
It is very important to note that this discussion that has taken hold today about potential international control over Syria’s stockpiles only could take place in a context of a credible military threat by the United States to keep pressure on the Syrian government as well as those supporting Syria, like Russia.
Third, as has been emphasized many times – and I did so as Secretary of State – the broader conflict in Syria is a threat to regional stability and security of our allies and partners as well as a humanitarian catastrophe for the Syrian people and those neighboring countries attempting to absorb hundreds of thousands – now, more than 2 million – refugees.
Achieving a political solution that ends the conflict is in the interests of the United States. It will require an intense diplomatic effort guided by the roadmap that was agreed to by the international community in Geneva last year – in June of 2012. There was an agreement we hammered out that pointed the way forward. We need to get to the opportunity to begin such negotiations to move toward a resolution.
The President and I discussed these challenges today. I will continue to support his efforts, and I hope that the Congress will as well.
- WhiteHouse.gov: Video of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s remarks on Syria – Sept. 9, 2013
- WhatTheFolly.com: Syria: Chemical Weapons