Kerry Team Pushes to Build on Syria Disarmament Plan

None

Global Security Newswire Staff
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Sept. 12, 2013, 8:02 a.m.

De­vel­op­ing a thor­ough plan to elim­in­ate the Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment’s chem­ic­al arms is the fo­cus of arms-con­trol ex­perts ac­com­pa­ny­ing U.S. Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry for talks sched­uled to start on Thursday with Rus­sia, Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

A high-level State De­part­ment in­sider said the two coun­tries were ex­pec­ted to ex­am­ine over­laps and dis­tinc­tions in their re­spect­ive in­tel­li­gence on Syr­ia’s “chem­ic­al weapons stock­piles,… pro­duc­tion fa­cil­it­ies, pre­curs­or chem­ic­als and [any] mu­ni­tions that are used to spread those chem­ic­al weapons,” the New York Times re­por­ted.

En­sur­ing the safety of any chem­ic­al-arms mon­it­ors in the war-torn Middle East­ern coun­try is one prac­tic­al con­sid­er­a­tion that ne­go­ti­at­ors would con­sider in Geneva, Switzer­land. Their dis­cus­sions might con­tin­ue through Sat­urday.

Mo­scow has sent Wash­ing­ton its pro­pos­al for hand­ling the weapons, the Lon­don Tele­graph said, cit­ing Rus­si­an press re­ports from Wed­nes­day.

A Rus­si­an dip­lo­mat­ic in­sider said the plan calls for Syr­ia ini­tially to ac­cede to an in­ter­na­tion­al chem­ic­al-weapons ban, the Rus­si­an news­pa­per Kom­mersant re­por­ted, ac­cord­ing to the Tele­graph. Dam­as­cus sub­sequently would dis­close its chem­ic­al-arms man­u­fac­tur­ing and hold­ing sites, which aud­it­ors then would vis­it, the source ad­ded. A deal would fol­low to es­tab­lish ex­act mech­an­isms for elim­in­at­ing the stocks, the un­named of­fi­cial said.

The Rus­si­an en­voy sug­ges­ted Wash­ing­ton and Mo­scow could jointly handle the Syr­i­an ar­sen­al un­der the aus­pices of the Nunn-Lugar Co­oper­at­ive Threat Re­duc­tion ini­ti­at­ive.

“We have seen more co­oper­a­tion and help­ful activ­ity on this mat­ter from the Rus­si­ans in the last two days than we’ve seen in the last two years,” White House spokes­man Jay Car­ney said in a Wed­nes­day press brief­ing. “The pro­pos­al they put for­ward is very spe­cif­ic; Syr­ia’s re­ac­tion to it changes the po­s­i­tion they’ve held for years and is a total about-face from the po­s­i­tion Bashar [As­sad] held three days ago. And that is sig­ni­fic­ant.”

What We're Following See More »
TAKING A LONG VIEW TO SOUTHERN STATES
In Dropout Speech, Santorum Endorses Rubio
3 days ago
THE DETAILS

As expected after earlier reports on Wednesday, Rick Santorum ended his presidential bid. But less expected: he threw his support to Marco Rubio. After noting he spoke with Rubio the day before for an hour, he said, “Someone who has a real understanding of the threat of ISIS, real understanding of the threat of fundamentalist Islam, and has experience, one of the things I wanted was someone who has experience in this area, and that’s why we decided to support Marco Rubio.” It doesn’t figure to help Rubio much in New Hampshire, but the Santorum nod could pay dividends down the road in southern states.

Source:
‘PITTING PEOPLE AGAINST EACH OTHER’
Rubio, Trump Question Obama’s Mosque Visit
3 days ago
WHY WE CARE

President Obama’s decision to visit a mosque in Baltimore today was never going to be completely uncontroversial. And Donald Trump and Marco Rubio proved it. “Maybe he feels comfortable there,” Trump told interviewer Greta van Susteren on Fox News. “There are a lot of places he can go, and he chose a mosque.” And in New Hampshire, Rubio said of Obama, “Always pitting people against each other. Always. Look at today – he gave a speech at a mosque. Oh, you know, basically implying that America is discriminating against Muslims.”

Source:
THE TIME IS NOW, TED
Cruz Must Max Out on Evangelical Support through Early March
3 days ago
WHY WE CARE

For Ted Cruz, a strong showing in New Hampshire would be nice, but not necessary. That’s because evangelical voters only make up 21% of the Granite State’s population. “But from the February 20 South Carolina primary through March 15, there are nine states (South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Carolina) with an estimated white-Evangelical percentage of the GOP electorate over 60 percent, and another four (Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, and Missouri) that come in over 50 percent.” But after that, he better be in the catbird’s seat, because only four smaller states remain with evangelical voter majorities.

Source:
CHRISTIE, BUSH TRYING TO TAKE HIM DOWN
Rubio Now Winning the ‘Endorsement Primary’
3 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Since his strong third-place finish in Iowa, Marco Rubio has won endorsement by two sitting senators and two congressmen, putting him in the lead for the first time of FiveThirtyEight‘s Endorsement Tracker. “Some politicians had put early support behind Jeb Bush — he had led [their] list since August — but since January the only new endorsement he has received was from former presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham.” Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that fueled by resentment, “members of the Bush and Christie campaigns have communicated about their mutual desire to halt … Rubio’s rise in the polls.”

Source:
7 REPUBLICANS ON STAGE
Carly Fiorina Will Not Be Allowed to Debate on Saturday
2 days ago
THE LATEST

ABC News has announced the criteria for Saturday’s Republican debate, and that means Carly Fiorina won’t be a part of it. The network is demanding candidates have “a top-three finish in Iowa, a top-six standing in an average of recent New Hampshire polls or a top-six placement in national polls in order for candidates to qualify.” And there will be no “happy hour” undercard debate this time. “So that means no Fiorina vs. Jim Gilmore showdown earlier in the evening for the most ardent of campaign 2016 junkies.

Source:
×