Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., issued the following statement after President Obama’s address Tuesday night on the situation in Syria:

“I share the President’s deep passion that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable.  The United States must not ignore Syria’s egregious crime against its citizens.

“Indeed, America should bring the world together to condemn and penalize Syria for this action.  Such an effort, however, is best pursued through international negotiation and diplomacy.  I’m encouraged that the U.S. and other nations are now pursuing just such an international diplomatic strategy for ending Syrian access to chemical weapons. Over the coming days we will see if the Syrians and Russians can be full participants in a timely and verifiable intervention to accomplish this important and significant goal.”