In it he warned that any military action against Syria could trigger terrorist attacks against the US. He added that millions of people see the US “not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force”.
The letter comes as the US announced that it welcomed Russian proposals on the handover of Syria’s chemical weapons to the international community.
The White House said that it believed Moscow to be acting in good faith. “We have seen more co-operation from Russia in the last two days than we have heard in the last two years,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney. “I don’t have a time line to give to you. What I can say is that it obviously will take some time; there are technical aspects involved in developing a plan for securing Syria’s chemical weapons and verifying their location and putting them under international control.”
Saying that the Syrian agreement to the proposals was “significant” and “a total about-face”, US President Obama has called for a suspension of Senate attempts to pass a resolution authorising US strikes on Syria.