PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) speaks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) before a press conference in Geneva on September 14, 2013 after they met for talks on Syria's chemical weapons. Washington and Moscow have agreed a deal to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons, Kerry said after talks with Lavrov.
Today it was confirmed that sarin gas was used in rocket attacks against civilians on August 21. Over the weekend, Russia and the United States hammered out a plan for the dismantling of Syria’s chemical weapons, which could be tricky to implement.
“If Assad fails in time to abide by the terms of this framework, make no mistake, we are all agreed — and that includes Russia — that there will be consequences,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters. Kerry was flanked by British Foreign Secretary William Hague and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, in a show of international cooperation.
The goal for the destruction of the weapons is mid 2014, and experts think it’s ambitious to think so much dangerous work could be done so quickly, especially amidst a raging conflict. A UN resolution is now being drafted to turn the plan’s framework into an actionable document.
But skeptics see the process as a win for the Assad regime, which has a history of using stalling tactics. But Kerry says the process of getting rid of these weapons has teeth, confirming Britain and France as allies in the process, stating, “The world must be prepared to hold [Syria] to account if they don’t, and our three countries are certainly determined to do so.”
Denis Fitzgerald, Freelance Journalist at the United Nations who blogs at UNTribune.com