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Obama, Putin talked about securing Syria chem arms

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September 9, 2013 06:25 PM EST | AP


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says he spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin (POO'-tihn) about a potential plan for Syria to turn over its chemical weapons to international control.

Syria has welcomed an idea floated Monday for it to hand over chemical weapons for destruction to avoid a U.S. military strike. The public proposal from Russia followed what seemed to be an offhand remark by Secretary of State John Kerry. The U.N. secretary-general also backs the idea.

Obama tells PBS' "NewsHour" that he and Putin did speak about it last week while Obama was in St. Petersburg, Russia, for an economic summit. Obama and Putin had an impromptu chat Friday for about 20 minutes.

Obama says it was a continuation of previous conversations he's had with Putin about securing Syria's chemical weapons.