September 11, 2013

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) released the following statement following President Obama’s speech this evening addressing the crisis in Syria:

“Syria’s use of chemical weapons is a serious threat to our national security and I am hopeful that a diplomatic solution can be reached to secure and destroy their chemical weapons stockpile. I’m working with my colleagues in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on an amendment to give diplomacy a chance to work, but to also pressure the Syrians to take concrete steps towards the transfer of their chemical weapons to international control. 

“I continue to believe that the eventual elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles is in our best interest but also understand that it was the threat of force that ultimately pushed Syria and Russia to the negotiating table.  Now, we need immediate, serious and credible action from Russia and Syria. They must begin to secure and eventually destroy Syria’s weapons of mass destruction as soon as possible.”

Earlier today Senator Shaheen spoke on the Senate floor urging Russian officials to follow through on their commitment to secure Syrian chemical weapons. She also discussed plans to work with her colleagues on an amendment to the Senate’s Syria resolution that would give further diplomatic efforts time to work while also pressuring the Assad regime to eliminate their chemical weapons stockpile. This afternoon she joined a bipartisan coalition of Senators in a private meeting to discuss plans to move forward with an effort along these lines.