An international response is needed to stop the violence of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., said Wednesday.
After a trip to the Middle East, Nelson met this week with Robert Ford, the U.S. ambassador to Syria.
Not long after that meeting, Syria expelled ambassadors from several countries, including Ford, a move that Nelson criticized.
Nelson said he has been talking to one of Russia’s top lawmakers, Mikhail Margelov, about the situation. Russia has worked in the United Nations to block international movement against Syria.
“They’ve been known to be in the past allies of Syria, but it is my understanding they are now distancing themselves from Assad, while at the same time looking for ways to be constructive,” Nelson said.
Nelson has worked with Margelov through the United States Senate-Russia Interparliamentary Group, a diplomatic effort that includes lawmakers from both countries.
Nelson, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said there are reasons to hope the situation can be resolved without military action, “but all options will be on the table.”