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UN chief Ban Ki-moon and Joint UN-League of Arab States Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi want Syria to reconsider plans for a June presidential election.
Obama's decision to involve the US Congress in deciding whether to intervene militarily in Syria poses new questions on what action will result.
"International law says that military action must be taken after a decision by the Security Council," says the joint UN-Arab League Envoy for Syria.
The Arab League's decision to suspend Syria should spur the UN Security Council into action over its abuses, human rights campaigners say.