By CNN Staff
President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the United States wants “to join with the international community” in an “effective response” to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
“I respect the U.N. process,” he said at an event in Stockholm with Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, who opposes military intervention without U.N. approval.
“We agree that the international community cannot be silent,” Obama said. A team of U.N. investigators has done “heroic work,” he said.
But, he added, “we believe that chemical weapons were used,” and that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “was the source.”
Syrian allies Russia and China are likely to block any U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing military intervention in Syria.
Obama’s remarks, on the first bilateral visit to Sweden by a U.S. president, came as the White House works to persuade Congress to get behind a possible military strike in response to what it says was a chemical weapons attack August 21 in the suburbs of Damascus.
On Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to consider a revised bill authorizing a military strike. The authorization would set a 60-day deadline for use of force in Syria, with an option for an additional 30 days.
Obama, who left Washington on Tuesday night for a three-day overseas trip, was visiting Sweden ahead of his planned appearance at the G-20 summit in Russia.
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