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Senators say Russia plan boosts prospects for Congress Syria vote

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), (R), makes remarks to the media as U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), (L), listens, after meeting with U.S
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), (R), makes remarks to the media as U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), (L), listens, after meeting with U.S

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two senior Republican senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, said on Monday the possibility of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad giving up control of Syria's chemical weapons should make members of Congress more willing to vote for the authorization for the use of military force.

"Congress should proceed with its plans to consider and vote on the authorization for use of force that is now before the Senate, and today's development should make members of Congress more willing to vote yes," McCain and Graham said in a statement.

They said a yes vote would give President Barack Obama more leverage to press Russia and Syria to make good on a proposal to take chemical weapons out of Assad's hands.

But they also called on the Obama administration to immediately introduce a U.N. Security Council resolution spelling out "in clear, detailed terms" what the international community should expect from Assad's government.

Obama is pressing the Congress to grant him authority to take action against Syria in response to an alleged August 21 chemical weapons attack that killed more than 1,400 people.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Jackie Frank and Mohammad Zargham)

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