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

Connor Simpson, Atlantic Wire
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 »
1.5 MILLION MORE TUNED IN FOR TRUMP
More People Watched Trump’s Acceptance Speech
20 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Hillary Clinton hopes that television ratings for the candidates' acceptance speeches at their respective conventions aren't foreshadowing of similar results at the polls in November. Preliminary results from the networks and cable channels show that 34.9 million people tuned in for Donald Trump's acceptance speech while 33.3 million watched Clinton accept the Democratic nomination. However, it is still possible that the numbers are closer than these ratings suggest: the numbers don't include ratings from PBS or CSPAN, which tend to attract more Democratic viewers.

Source:
×