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Published: Friday January 31, 2014 MYT 2:55:02 AM
Updated: Friday January 31, 2014 MYT 2:55:55 AM

Syria can still meet deadlines on chemical weapons - U.S.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday said it was still possible for Syria to meet its obligations to remove chemical weapons.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the threat of military force against Syria was never taken off the table but that the United States prefers to pursue diplomatic means. Last year Washington had considered strikes to punish Damascus for using chemical weapons in its 3-year-old civil war.

With deadlines looming, the United States has said Syria has removed just 4 percent of the chemical weapons it had declared but Psaki said there was still time to meet the deadlines.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Bill Trott)

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