The United States must be careful in any dealings it has with Russia in hammering out a deal involving Syria and its chemical weapons, Sen. John Hoeven, a North Dakota Republican, says.
"Obviously, we have to be very careful with Russia and with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin," Hoeven told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"If they're going to work with us and others to, in essence, get Syria to give up its chemical weapons in some verifiable way, obviously, we should do that. But we have to be very careful about Russia and exactly what their motives are and how we go about this."
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Hoeven said he is against any kind of military strike on Syria, which used chemical weapons on rebel forces last month, killing more than 1,400 near Damascus.
"I don’t support a military strike in Syria and I don't think that Congress does at this point because the American people don't. So we've got to work on this diplomatically in a sensible way," he said.
"But we've got to have an approach where people understand what that approach is, that it's consistent, and where we get our allies and other countries in the region working with us so we're doing this together in a coherent way with clear objectives.
"And that's what the administration has to do, which they haven't done to this point."
He urged President Barack Obama to "work with other countries to make sure that we push to get Syria to give up chemical weapons.
"There's a lot we can do in terms of sanctions."
He fears, however, that the president may continue to push for military action.
"I just don't think the American people or Congress are going to agree to a unilateral strike on Syria by the United States, in essence, going it alone," Hoeven said.
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