- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 5, 2013

House Speaker John A. Boehner has turned down an invitation to meet with Russian lawmakers next week when they come to the U.S. Capitol to lobby Congress against strikes on Syria.

“The speaker has declined the Russian Embassy’s request that he meet with a delegation,” said Mr. Boehner’s spokesman, Michael Steel.

The delegation was announced in Moscow this week after Russian lawmakers took note of the anti-intervention sentiment among Americans, The Associated Press reported.

Russian lawmakers loyal to President Vladimir Putin will visit Washington to dissuade Congress from authorizing U.S. military strikes against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Russia is Syria’s main ally outside the Middle East and — along with Iran — a major sponsor of and arms supplier to the Assad regime.

By rebuffing the delegation, Mr. Boehner, an Ohio Republican who doesn’t often side with President Obama, underlined his commitment to getting the authority Mr. Obama needs to punish the regime for using chemical weapons on civilians last month.

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