Lack of consensus in U.S.-Russia deal on Syria

(CBS News) NEW YORK - A CBS News/New York Times poll out Tuesday evening shows overwhelming support for the proposed deal between the U.S. and Russia to have Syria give up its chemical weapons.

In return, the U.S. agreed to hold off on a military strike to punish the Syrians for a nerve gas attack last month.

About 82 percent of Americans favor such a deal, while 15 percent opposes. When asked if Syria will turn over all of its chemical weapons, just 33 percent said it is likely and 66 percent said it is unlikely.

Meanwhile, the top U.S. and Russian diplomats met Tuesday at the U.N. in hopes of working out the details. There has been very little progress since that deal was made 10 days ago. The U.N. meeting ran nearly two hours and there was a lot to discuss.

Secretary Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov came into Tuesday afternoon's meeting with sharp differences over the terms of the deal and how to enforce it.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met at the U.N. on Sept. 24, 2013, to discuss the chemical weapons agreement surrounding Syria.
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The U.S. says Russia's public statements since the agreement have been counterproductive. Russia still disputes that Syria President Bashar Assad carried out the Aug. 21 sarin gas attack. It blames the rebels for the incident and says it doesn't want a U.N. resolution that includes the use of force if Syria fails to comply.

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Watch President Obama urging the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution ensuring that Syria's chemical weapons stockpile is destroyed in accordance with an international ban:

In his speechTuesday, President Obama said that threat must be included in any U.N. resolution.

"There must be a strong Security Council Resolution to verify that the Assad regime is keeping its commitments," said the president, "and there must be consequences if they fail to do so. If we cannot agree even on this, then it will show that the U.N. is incapable of enforcing the most basic of international laws."

Western diplomats say that the chances of a U.N. resolution this week are low. However, there has been some progress: Syria has started to share some details of its chemical weapons arsenal with the international community.

  • Margaret Brennan

    Principally assigned to the State Department, Margaret Brennan also serves as a CBS News general assignment correspondent based in Washington, D.C.

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