A deal regarding Syria’s chemical weapons was reached by the United States and Russia on Saturday. The countries agreed to an outline for identifying and seizing the weapons.
Under the agreement, Syria must provide a count of its chemical weapons arsenal within a week. The complete seizure of the weapons will happen by mid-2014.
The Washington Post reports that US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made the announcement. Kerry explained that the first inspection of Syria’s chemical weapons will happen by November.
Should Syria fail to comply with any step of the process, the UN Security Council could take action, including sanctions, against the Middle Eastern nation. Kerry explained that the agreement “can end the threat these weapons pose not only to the Syrian people, but also to their neighbors, to the region.”
The framework document explains that the best way to make sure Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal is destroyed will be to remove as much of it as possible from the country. The weapons will be destroyed after they are out of Syria, notes CNN.
US President Barack Obama released a statement about the agreement. He explained that the framework “represents an important concrete step toward the goal of moving Syria’s chemical weapons under international control so that they may ultimately be destroyed.”
Obama added that there will be consequences if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad doesn’t comply. He warned, “And, if diplomacy fails, the United States remains prepared to act.”
With the framework set to deal with Syria’s chemical weapons, it is possible that the United States could remove several warships it placed in the Mediterranean Sea last month. The ships were preparing for a possible cruise missile strike against Syria. However, the United States chose to follow a diplomatic solution offered up by Syria and Russia.
It is possible the ships could remain in the area until the Syrian chemical weapons deal is completed.
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