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NRC Handelsblad - Netherlands | Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The "red line" paved the way for compromise

The agreement between Russia and the US on the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons would never have come about without US President Barack Obama's "red line", the liberal daily NRC Handelsblad points out: "With Russia's help, the agreement was fortunately arrived at through diplomatic channels. But it's difficult to imagine the Syrian regime would have been prepared to make concessions without the threat of US military intervention. Obama and Kerry may not have shined in terms of resolve and linearity. But if the end justifies the means, we must conclude that the 'red line' was the beginning of a path that must lead to the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons. ... Yet only peace negotiations can end the violence. The chances of this happening are slim right now, but it's not entirely impossible if the US and Russia are able to use their newfound consensus effectively once more."

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