• Mass. lawmaker prefers diplomacy over force in Syria


    (MyFoxBoston.com) – Tense negotiations are underway between the United States and Russia over removing Syria's chemical weapons.

    Russia's President Vladimir Putin penned an op-ed piece which prompted strong reaction on Capitol Hill, including Mass. Congressman Stephen Lynch.

    Lynch held a town hall meeting in Quincy Thursday night to address Syria concerns and stress the need for diplomacy over military force. On the other hand, Sec. of State John Kerry is in Geneva for two days of talks with his Russian counterpart about Syria saying military force is not off the table.

    Right out of the gate, Kerry rejected a Syrian suggestion that the regime would wait to begin submitting data on its chemical weapons arsenal until a full 30 days after Syria signs an international treaty banning chemical weapons.

    "Mister foreign minister, we are as serious as you are about engaging in substantive meaningful negotiations even as our military maintains its posture to keep up the pressure on the Assad regime," Kerry said.

    During Lynch's town hall meeting, the congressman said it appears progress is being made as things continue to change by the hour.

    "There does seem to be some progress to remove some of these chemical weapons from the Assad regime," he said.

    As Kerry continues to try to broker a peace deal, Putin criticized America's plan to use force in his op-ed piece, which appeared in the New York Times, saying, "It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States."

    Lynch, who says he'll vote no on military action, agreed to some degree with Putin on the pattern for U.S. military intervention.

    Many of those who attended the town hall meeting applauded the idea of diplomacy; however, Kerry says America plans to keep a possible military strike on the table.

    Lynch believes Bashar Assad should be charged with war crimes at the international criminal court instead of a U.S. military strike.

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