Agreement Reached On Syria UN Chemical Weapons Resolution

UN team

Diplomats at the UN say the five permanent members of the divided Security Council appear to have reached agreement on a resolution to require Syria to dismantle its chemical-weapons stockpiles.

Their comments on Thursday came a day after Sergey Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, said negotiators had overcome a major hurdle and agreed that the text of the resolution would include a reference to Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which allows for military and nonmilitary actions to promote peace and security.

The five veto-wielding members of the Security Council have been discussing for weeks what to include in a new resolution requiring that Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile be secured and dismantled.

The US and Russia had been at odds on how to enforce the resolution.

Ryabkov said earlier that his country was ready to help guard Syrian chemical weapons sites and destroy President Bashar al-Assad’s stockpiles, but it would not ship any of the chemical arms to Russia for destruction.

“We will be ready to help in guarding those facilities where work is being carried out,” the Interfax news agency quoted Ryabkov as saying at an arms fair in the Ural Mountains city of Nizhny Tagil.

Russia and the US are the only countries with industrial-scale capacity to handle mustard, VX, sarin or cyanide-armed munitions, but the import of chemical weapons is banned under US law.

Ryabkov said Russia would not import chemical weapons either, state-run RIA reported.

Noting that the Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits the export of chemical weapons, he said: “We believe the destruction [of chemical weapons] on Syrian territory is the best option.”

John Kerry, US secretary of state, and Sergey Lavrov, Russian foreign minister, approved the deal this month, under which inspections of chemical weapons sites in Syria are to be completed by November 30 and its entire arsenal destroyed by June 30, 2014.

The 30-month conflict in Syria has left more than 100,000 people dead.

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