Senators: Obama doesn’t want to count on diplomacy

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of the senators who discussed Syria today with President Barack Obama says Obama “wasn’t overly optimistic” that a solution can be reached at the United Nations.

Democrat Richard Durbin quotes Obama as saying that even if a credible plan can be worked out, it could be difficult to push it through the Security Council.

Senators say Obama told them he’s keeping the military option on the table. Democrat Barbara Boxer of California says Obama told senators that the proposal calling for Syria to give up its chemical weapons arsenal has a long way to go, and that the United States needs to keep up the pressure on the Syrian government.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that a U.N. effort can only succeed if the U.S. and its allies “reject the use of force.”

The two-track approach to Syria is expected to be reflected in Obama’s speech to the nation tonight.

%@AP Links

015-w-36-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent, with President Barack Obama)–Facing fierce resistance in Congress, President Obama will make a prime-time appeal to the American people tonight for backing in the crisis over Syria. AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports. (10 Sep 2013)

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204-w-34-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent, with Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel)–President Obama backing a U.N. effort to confiscate Syria’s chemical weapons as a way of avoiding a U.S. military strike. AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports. (10 Sep 2013)

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GRAPHICSBANK: Barack Obama, as US President, arrives on Capitol Hill to meet with Senate Democrats and Republicans on Syria, Washington, DC, over Dome of the US Capitol, graphic element on gray (10 Sep 2013)

APPHOTO DCSA128: Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Ill. walks through the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, after President Barack Obama’s meeting with Democrats on the situation in Syria. The president met with members of Congress before his address to the nation on Syria Tuesday night. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (10 Sep 2013)

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APPHOTO DCPM110: President Barack Obama, accompanied by Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper Terrance Gainer, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, as they move between meetings with Senate Democrats and Republicans on Syria. Later Tuesday, the president will address the nation on Syria. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (10 Sep 2013)

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