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Obama slams 'incapacity' of UN Security Council on Syria

US President Barack Obama delivers a statement on Syria at the White House in Washington, DC on August 30, 2013
US President Barack Obama delivers a statement on Syria during a meeting with Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite (C) and Vice President Joe Biden (R) at the White House in Washington, DC on August 30, 2013. Obama on Friday slammed the "incapacity" o

US President Barack Obama on Friday slammed the "incapacity" of the UN Security Council to act on Syria and warned the world must not be "paralyzed" on responding to a chemical weapons attack.

"What we have seen so far at least is an incapacity at this point for the Security Council to move forward in the face of a clear violation of international norms," Obama said, as he met Baltic leaders at the White House

Obama said he understood that there was widespread war fatigue both in the United States, Britain and elsewhere, but that did not absolve nations of their responsibilities.

"Ultimately, we don't want the world to be paralyzed. And frankly, you know, part of the challenge that we end up with here is that a lot of people think something should be done, but nobody wants to do it," Obama said.

His comments came a day after the British House of Commons voted against joining what are likely to be limited US-led missile strikes against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Such reticence, Obama suggested, would allow the erosion on taboos over time on the use of chemical weapons and other international norms.

The president said he knew that the world was "war weary" and noted Americans had gone through a decade of war and wanted to rebuild their economy.

"I assure you nobody ends up being more war-weary than me.

"What I also believe is that part of our obligation as a leader in the world is making sure that when you have a regime that is willing to use weapons that are prohibited by international norms on their own people, including children, that they are held to account."

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