The Six Point U.S.-Russian Deal to Fix Syria’s Chemical Weapons Problem

Connor Simpson, Atlantic Wire
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Connor Simpson, Atlantic Wire
Sept. 16, 2013, 6:02 a.m.

The U.S. and Rus­sia agreed on a deal to elim­in­ate chem­ic­al weapons in Syr­ia des­pite their com­plic­ated re­la­tion­ship status. The deal, should it work, doesn’t ne­ces­sar­ily sat­is­fy the Syr­i­an op­pos­i­tion but it does put the most in­ter­na­tion­al pres­sure on Syr­ia since the con­flict began. Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry and Rus­si­an For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lav­rov an­nounced the part­ner­ship Sat­urday morn­ing at the In­ter­con­tin­ent­al Hotel in Geneva, where they’ve been ne­go­ti­at­ing privately since Thursday. “There can be no room for games. Or any­thing less than full com­pli­ance by the As­sad re­gime,” Kerry said Sat­urday.

Here are the six im­port­ant points in the U.S.-Rus­sia jointly agreed upon six point plan:

1. Syr­ia has one week to turn over a list of its com­plete chem­ic­al weapons ar­sen­al. The U.S. and Rus­sia agree the Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment has roughly 1,000 tons of chem­ic­al agents and ma­ter­i­als, the BBC re­ports.

2. Syr­ia must sign the Chem­ic­al Weapons Con­ven­tion, as Bashar al-As­sad has prom­ised.

3. Syr­ia’s chem­ic­al weapons stock­pile must be placed un­der in­ter­na­tion­al con­trol by Novem­ber.

4. Syr­ia’s chem­ic­al weapons stock­pile and all as­so­ci­ated ma­ter­i­als must be des­troyed by the first half of 2014.

5. U.N. in­spect­ors must be giv­en “im­me­di­ate, un­fettered ac­cess” to Syr­ia’s chem­ic­al weapons sites by Novem­ber. There are al­legedly over 50 sites that hold chem­ic­al weapons in Syr­ia.

6. The U.N. will help with lo­gist­ic­al sup­port and will en­force pen­al­ties un­der Chapter VII, which al­lows sanc­tions or mil­it­ary force, should Syr­ia fail to com­ply with these guidelines. (The U.S. re­tains the right to use mil­it­ary force; Rus­sia still doesn’t think it’s a good idea.)

So that seems like a reas­on­able plan that cov­er a lot of bases and does so quickly, which is the most im­port­ant part, and elim­in­ates the pos­sib­il­ity an­oth­er chem­ic­al weapons at­tack like the one on Au­gust 21 could oc­cur. But the Syr­i­an op­pos­i­tion isn’t en­thused with this idea, that averts a po­ten­tial U.S. mil­it­ary strike against As­sad for the fore­see­able fu­ture. “There is noth­ing in this agree­ment that con­cerns us,” said Gen. Salim Id­riss, a lead­er in the Free Syr­i­an Army. He de­scribed the deal was just a Rus­si­an mech­an­ism to buy time for the re­gime, and claimed As­sad was already mov­ing his chem­ic­al weapons ar­sen­al to Ir­aq and Le­ban­on to avoid U.N. in­spec­tion. 

Does this mean the re­la­tion­ship between the U.S. and Rus­sia is now patched up, that we can ex­pect more in­ter­na­tion­al co­oper­a­tion in the fu­ture, that the whole Snowden thing is be­hind us? Of course not. There’s still the loom­ing po­ten­tial in­ter­na­tion­al in­cid­ent that is John Mc­Cain’s Rus­si­an op-ed. And parts of this deal are foun­ded on dis­agree­ment between these two coun­tries. But it’s something, for now, that seem­ingly could fix a very large prob­lem at the cen­ter of a civil war that’s not end­ing any time soon.

Re­prin­ted with per­mis­sion from the At­lantic Wire. The ori­gin­al story can be found here.

 

What We're Following See More »
FORMER GOVERNOR, AMBASSADOR TO CHINA
Jon Huntsman in Line to be #2 at State
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS
SHOW OF UNITY
Ellison Bringing New DNC Chair Perez To Trump’s Address
4 hours ago
BREAKING
CASE TO CARRY ON
DOJ Drops Claim Against Texas’s Voter ID Law
5 hours ago
THE LATEST

The Department of Justice "is dropping a discrimination claim against a Texas law that required voters to present identification at the polls." The case will continue to carry on with private groups who filed the lawsuit. The DOJ dropped the claim because Texas is planning to "cure the deficiencies" with the law, according to a draft copy of the dismissal motion the DOJ sent to the Campaign Legal Center. Texas Governor Jim Abbott tweeted a picture of a headline sharing the information with a caption saying "It's a new day in D.C."

Source:
TROUBLE LOOMING?
Durbin Says Government Shutdown Possible
6 hours ago
THE LATEST
AT LEAST 19 TODAY
Jewish Community Keeps Receiving Threats
6 hours ago
THE DETAILS
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login