In a potentially dramatic change of course, President Barack Obama told ABC News on Monday that he does not expect any votes in Congress in the near term on the use of force in Syria while the administration takes time to explore a diplomatic solution.
"I don't anticipate that you would see a succession of votes this week or anytime in the immediate future," Obama said. "So I think there will be time during the course of the debates here in the United States for the international community, the Russians and the Syrians to work with us and say is there a way to resolve this."
The diplomatic solution is not final but it involves the possible support of Russia, according to news reports. Obama said a military strike against Syria would "absolutely" be on pause if the regime agrees to do away with its chemical weapons as part of a diplomatic solution.
"I consider this a modestly positive development," he told ABC.
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