Reid: ‘Guardedly Optimistic’ Senate Will Approve Military Strikes

WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – A Democratic aide said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is “guardedly optimistic” that the Senate will approve limited military strikes next week against Syria.

According to Reuters, the aide said the first Senate vote on a proposed use-of-force resolution requested by President Barack Obama will likely be held Wednesday.

Reid and House Speaker John Boehner declined invitations to meet with a planned delegation of Russian lawmakers to discuss Syria.

“We are really disappointed by their decision not to meet with their Russian colleagues,” Maxim Abramov, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy, told The Associated Press.

Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed Monday sending a delegation of Russian lawmakers to the U.S. to discuss Syria with members of Congress.  In recent months, tensions have been heightened between Russia and the U.S. because of Syria, National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and human rights issues.

Putin said he could possibly support a United Nations resolution on punitive military strikes if it is proved Damascus used chemical weapons on its citizens.

Obama canceled a meeting with Putin, but met briefly and exchanged casual pleasantries Thursday in a quick encounter at the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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