Madeleine Albright on Syria: Putin Cannot Be Trusted

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin can't be trusted to push Syria toward disarmament.

“Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer asked Albright if she trusts Putin.

"No. But he is the leader of the Russians, who continue to play an important role,” she said. “And I don't think we have to trust him. I think we have to be able to work with him on issues of common interest. And I think that that's where we are now."

She said the US and Russia have common interests in the Middle East, like the proliferation of chemical weapons and stopping extremism.

"I think that they do see the danger of chemical weapons, generally," Albright said. "They are also afraid of extremists and extremists getting control over weapons, for their own reasons. I think they also have a reason for wanting stability in the Middle East. And they also, I think, want to get re-involved in the Middle East and show their influence."

Between the ongoing Syrian civil war and the threat of a larger, regional war, Albright said, “It is very hard for me to believe that there could be something worse.”

On the other hand, she said, "it can only get worse if we do not do anything."

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov came to an agreement Saturday that would have Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime hand over all chemical weapons to international control. Russia, however, could continue to arm Assad’s regime.

Albright said she is a "great believer in the combination of force and diplomacy" and therefore believes that Washington “needs to keep the use of force on the table.”

Sources: The Hill, Washington Post