Obama sees potential breakthrough in weapons idea

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says a proposal to put Syria's chemical weapons under international control to avoid U.S. military strikes could be a potential breakthrough.

Obama told NBC News in an interview Monday that he remains skeptical that Syria will follow through and turn over its stockpile, so he's taking a statement from Damascus, quote, "with a grain of salt initially." But he says he would prefer to have a diplomatic solution to the crisis rather than launch a military attack, and called it "a potentially positive development."

Secretary of State John Kerry suggested earlier Monday that Syria could avoid a potential U.S. air attack by putting its chemical weapons under international control. Syria's ally Russia quickly took the idea to Syria's foreign minister, who said Damascus welcomes the proposal.

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