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McCain: US Has No Choice But To Allow For New Diplomatic Offensive To ‘Play Out’

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Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., talks to reporters after leaving a closed door meeting about Syria at the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 4, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., talks to reporters after leaving a closed door meeting about Syria at the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 4, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain says the United States has no choice but to allow time for a new diplomatic offensive on Syria to “play out,” even though he’s skeptical that the plan is genuine.

McCain was asked in a nationally broadcast “CBS This Morning” interview to comment on a proposal by Russia, embraced by Syria, for President Bashar Assad to relinquish his chemical weapons stockpile.

Assad has not publicly acknowledged having such weapons, and President Barack Obama is seeking congressional authorization to attack Syria in reprisal for an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack that the U.S. blames on Assad’s regime.

McCain, an Arizona Republican and harsh Obama critic, said Tuesday there is “incoherence” in the administration’s statements. But he also said that “not to pursue” the diplomatic option “would be a mistake.”

McCain said he will propose an amendment to the Senate’s Syria resolution incorporating the proposal for Syria to surrender its chemical weapons. The amendment would require verification through international monitors and call for guidelines and benchmarks to be met.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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