President Obama said today he hopes negotiations between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on how to neutralize Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles will “bear fruit,” but reiterated that any agreement must be “verifiable and enforceable.”
Speaking at the end of an Oval Office meeting with the emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, Obama said both leaders agreed the use of chemical weapons in Syria on Aug. 21 was a “criminal act” and that it’s “absolutely important for the international community to respond in deterring the use of chemical weapons and getting those weapons out of Syria.”
“We agreed that ultimately what’s needed for the underlying conflict is a political settlement that allows ordinary Syrians to get back to their homes, to rebuild and to relieve the enormous suffering that’s taking place,” Obama said.
The president also praised Kuwait for providing “humanitarian support” for Syrian refugees.
The two leaders also discussed the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, relations with Iraq, and Kuwait’s desire to see the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay closed.