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Carter backs 'give up weapons' deal

Former US president Jimmy Carter has said he believes the best path forward in Syria is for the United States to work out a deal with Russia for the regime to give up its chemical weapons.

Mr Carter, speaking during an event at The Carter Centre in Atlanta, Georgia, said it would not be a catastrophe if the US Congress voted against Barack Obama's call for military action against Syria, noting that presidents had often put forward important issues later rejected by Congress.

Mr Carter said placing United Nations officials in Syria to oversee removal of chemical weapons would result in a ceasefire in large parts of the country.

He also said it was likely the United States would have to back down from requiring military action if Syria did not live up to a weapons disarmament plan.

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