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September 9, 2013

Kerry presses case for Syria strike, reaffirms bond with Britain

McALESTER — U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Monday kept up the Obama administration’s push for international support of a military strike on Syria and reassured Britain that Washington had “no better partner” in the world despite the British government’s decision not to participate in any armed reprisal against Damascus.

With a cliffhanger vote to endorse a military strike looming in Congress, Kerry insisted that the United States was under “no illusions” about a military solution to the Syrian conflict, and that diplomacy was the only path to a resolution. But he said the lethal chemical attack allegedly mounted last month by President Bashar Assad’s forces against rebels was an insurmountable obstacle to peace talks.

“A resolution to this has to come about because the parties are prepared to come and negotiate that political solution,” Kerry said here after meeting his British counterpart. “If one party believes that he can rub out countless numbers of his own citizens with impunity, using chemicals that have been banned for nearly a hundred years because of what Europe learned in World War I ... we will never come to a

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