US, Russia agree on framework to secure Syria chemical weapons

US, Russia agree on framework to secure Syria chemical weapons

Credit: LARRY DOWNING/AFP/Getty Images

US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) shares a laugh with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the end of a press conference in Geneva on September 14, 2013 after they met for talks on Syria's chemical weapons. Washington and Moscow have agreed a deal to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons, Kerry said after talks with Lavrov.

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by ASSOCIATED PRESS

KREM.com

Posted on September 15, 2013 at 7:31 AM

GENEVA (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said they have reached agreement on a framework for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons.

The announcement comes on the third day of intense negotiations in Geneva. The deal includes what Kerry called "a shared assessment" of Syria's weapons stockpile, and a timetable and measures for Assad's government to comply.

It gives Syria one week, until Sept. 21, to submit "a comprehensive listing" of all its chemical weapons stockpiles. It calls for international inspectors to be on the ground in Syria by November and to complete their initial work by the end of that month.

All of Syria's chemical weapons stocks, material and equipment would have to be destroyed or removed by mid-2014.

The U.S. and Russia would work together on a new, binding Security Council resolution that would allow punitive measures if Syria's government fails to comply. The punitive measures include sanctions but stop short of military action.

U.S. officials say President Barack Obama would retain the authority to order U.S. airstrikes against Syria.

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