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Israel President Peres: I trust Obama and Putin on Syria

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Israel President Shimon Peres said at a Wednesday graduation ceremony for naval recruits that he trusts President Obama and President Putin, when it comes to forging a deal to bring a peaceful solution to Syria's chemical weapon dilemma.

"I know both President Obama and President Putin, and I am convinced that if an agreement is reached it will be reliable, explicit and significant," he said, The Times of Israel reported.

Just two days earlier, he was touting a different line, however.

Hours after Russia's foreign minister announced the forged deal with Syria for President Bashar Assad to turn his chemical weapons cache over to the international community's control, Mr. Peres said "the Syrians are not trustworthy," and the supposed agreement meant very little. On Wednesday, the Israeli leader still spoke with skepticism about Mr. Assad, but said that Mr. Obama and Mr. Putin could overcome.

They would reach a deal to "ensure that Assad has not chemical weapons," Mr. Peres said, in The Times of Israel.

In earlier remarks that same day, Mr. Peres said he had "no doubt that the U.S. will act militarily" if Mr. Assad tries to deceive the world on chemical weapons.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, said on Wednesday that "the world needs to ensure that whosoever uses WMDs pays a price for it," making clear that he still supports the use of military force in Syria. The Times of Israel reported he also said: "The message received in Syria will be well understood in Iran."

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