US, Russia to secure Syria's chemical arsenal

Sep 15, 2013, 04:02 IST | Agencies

According to the framework, Syria must submit a 'comprehensive listing' of its chemical weapons stockpile within a week

The US and Russia have reportedly agreed on a plan to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons, US Secretary of State John Kerry said yesterday after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov following their three-day negotiations in Geneva.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, (left), shakes hands with UN Joint Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov watches on during a news conference following their meeting at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva on Friday. File Pic

According to the framework, Syria must submit a ‘comprehensive listing’ of its chemical weapons stockpile within a week. The list should include names, types and quantities of its chemical weapons agents, types of ammunitions, location and form of storage, production, and research and development facilities.

Syria must provide the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and supporting personnel with “an immediate and unfettered right to inspect any and all sites in Syria,” he said.

Kerry said the inspectors must be on the ground by November and destruction or removal of the chemical weapons must be completed by mid-2014. “We have committed to a standard that says, verify and verify,” he said.

“In the event of non-compliance, we have committed to impose measures under Chapter 7 within UN Security Council,” Kerry said, referring to the authorisation of both military and non-military sanctions.

Meanwhile, Sergei Lavrov said the framework was based on consensus, compromise and professionalism. “We have achieved an aim that we had in front of us... to put under control the arsenal of chemical weapons in Syria,” he said.

He stressed that the main responsibility of ensuring of the safety of the inspectors would be up to the Syrian authorities, but the opposition should also not create threats to international personnel. “All violations should be approved in the UN Security Council,” he said.

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