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Power: Agreement reached with Russia on Syria's chemical weapons

Sept. 26, 2013 at 8:53 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- President Obama's ambassador to the United Nations said Thursday an agreement has been reached with Russia on forcing Syria to hand over its chemical weapons.

"Agreement reached w/Russia on UNSC Resolution legally obligating Syria to give up CW they used on their people. Going to full UNSC tonight," Samantha Power said on Twitter. "The draft UNSCR establishes that Syria's use of CW is threat to international peace & security & creates a new norm against the use of CW."

The resolution doesn't provide for an automatic penalty if Syrian President Bashar Assad doesn't turn over his chemical weapons stockpile to the international community but rather requires the U.N. Security Council to consider punitive action in such a scenario, The Hill reported.

Russia has spearheaded the effort to strip Syria of its banned weapons ever since U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in off-the-cuff remarks a possible military strike against Syria could be avoided if Assad relinquished his stockpiles.

"Negotiations in both The Hague (Netherlands) and New York, at the United Nations Security Council, are proceeding and they're proceeding concurrently regarding the implementation of the framework that was agreed to by the United States and Russia in Geneva (Switzerland)," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

"In The Hague, U.S. and Russian delegations are working on the procedures for the expeditious destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons program and stringent verification thereof. We hope that that product will be circulated to members of the Executive Council in the near future. ...

"Meanwhile, negotiations in New York between the United States and Russia continue at the ambassadorial level."

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