Western Powers Seek U.N. Backing of Syria Chemical Disarmament Plan

Global Security Newswire Staff
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Sept. 16, 2013, 8:02 a.m.

The United King­dom on Monday said it would join France and the United States in push­ing the U.N. Se­cur­ity Coun­cil to “en­shrine” a U.S.-Rus­si­an plan reached late last week to de­prive Syr­i­an Pres­id­ent Bashar As­sad of his chem­ic­al-war­fare stock­piles, the Wash­ing­ton Post re­por­ted.

Brit­ish For­eign Sec­ret­ary Wil­li­am Hag­ue told re­port­ers that the glob­al com­munity is ready to hold the Syr­i­an re­gime ac­count­able if it fails to fully meet the terms of the dis­arm­a­ment blue­print un­veiled on Sat­urday. Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry made fi­nal changes to the U.S.-draf­ted pro­pos­al later en­dorsed by Mo­scow, an Obama in­sider told the Post for a sep­ar­ate Monday re­port.

One gov­ern­ment in­sider said the top dip­lo­mats had “agreed to seek a strong and ro­bust [Se­cur­ity Coun­cil] res­ol­u­tion that sets pre­cise and bind­ing dead­lines with a cal­en­dar,” Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

The U.S.-Rus­si­an plan “has to be en­forced,” Kerry said on Monday. “If the As­sad re­gime be­lieves that this is not en­force­able and that we are not ser­i­ous, they will play games,” he ad­ded at a press con­fer­ence after meet­ing with Hag­ue and French For­eign Min­is­ter Laurent Fabi­us.

As­sad’s key op­pon­ents could join peace talks planned as in­ter­na­tion­al dis­cus­sion con­tin­ues on the chem­ic­al-dis­arm­a­ment plan, the As­so­ci­ated Press quoted Fabi­us as say­ing on Monday. Res­ist­ance fight­ers, though, be­lieve the ar­range­ment gives As­sad’s re­gime li­cense to in­tensi­fy oth­er kinds of at­tacks, the New York Times re­por­ted on Sunday. Con­ven­tion­al force has been chiefly re­spons­ible for killing more than 100,000 people to date in Syr­ia’s civil war.

A U.N. team on Monday said that “en­vir­on­ment­al, chem­ic­al and med­ic­al samples … provide clear and con­vin­cing evid­ence that sur­face-to-sur­face rock­ets con­tain­ing the nerve agent sar­in were used” in an Aug. 21 strike in a Dam­as­cus sub­urb, AP re­por­ted. The gassed area was held by op­pon­ents of As­sad.

Pres­id­ent Obama has said mil­it­ary ac­tion is still on the table if Dam­as­cus fails to meet its ob­lig­a­tions un­der the ar­range­ment, Re­u­ters re­por­ted. U.S. mil­it­ary forces re­main poised to at­tack Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment tar­gets in re­sponse to last month’s nerve agent strike.

Any push for armed strikes would face Rus­si­an op­pos­i­tion, but Mo­scow has in­dic­ated it could sup­port pun­it­ive U.N. ac­tions short of force over po­ten­tial mis­steps by As­sad’s re­gime, the wire ser­vice said.

The U.S.-Rus­si­an ar­range­ment re­quires Dam­as­cus with­in days to de­clare all its chem­ic­al-weapon stocks. The Or­gan­iz­a­tion for the Pro­hib­i­tion of Chem­ic­al Weapons is ex­pec­ted be­fore Decem­ber to com­plete an ini­tial on-the-ground in­vest­ig­a­tion of the ar­sen­al.

What We're Following See More »
AKNOWLEDGING THE INEVITABLE
UAW: Time to Unite Behind Hillary
18 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.

Source:
AP KEEPING COUNT
Trump Clinches Enough Delegates for the Nomination
20 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."

Source:
TRUMP FLOATED IDEA ON JIMMY KIMMEL’S SHOW
Trump/Sanders Debate Before California Primary?
21 hours ago
THE LATEST
CAMPAIGNS INJECTED NEW AD MONEY
California: It’s Not Over Yet
21 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.

Source:
TEMPORARY OR NOT?
Rick Wiley Bolts the Trump Campaign
22 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump on Wednesday parted ways with Rick Wiley, his national political director, just six weeks after the Republican operative joined the campaign." Wiley joined just six weeks ago, as Trump said he would be a "tremendous asset as we enter the final phase." But yesterday, Trump said in a statement that "hired on a short-term basis as a consultant."

Source:
×