By DANNY BROWNAP ByDANNY BERNARDAP President Barack Obama said Friday he won “not be visiting Syria as I am not a part of the U.S. government.”
Obama made the comment during an interview with ABC’s “This Week” in which he was asked about Syria and the possibility of a military strike on the government.
“Well, I think that the only way you can have a safe environment for people to be able to communicate with one another is if they have a clear line of communication, and if there are no other means of communication that people can communicate with,” Obama said.
Obama also said he has not met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and will not do so as president.
“The only way we can have that is if there is a clear, unequivocal line of separation between the United States and Syria,” Obama added.
Obama, who has made the United Nations Security Council a top priority in his administration, has said he would be open to a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing military action if the Syrian government is found responsible for the Aug. 21 chemical attack.
“I think the United Nation should have a role in making those decisions, but I think they should have to make them in a way that’s consistent with what the international community believes is in the best interest of the Syrian people,” Obama told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.
A senior administration official said Friday the president had spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone Thursday evening and would hold a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday.
“We want to be clear that it was not a one-off conversation,” the official said, declining to provide further details.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the administration is not commenting on the Syria talks.
The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, said at least 10 people were killed in the Aug, 21 attack, with the U