US, Russia reconcile over Syria's chemical weapons

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Kerry: Remove Syria's chemical weapons
Geneva, Sept 14: The US and Russia have agreed on a plan to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons, US Secretary of State John Kerry said here on Saturday.

Kerry made the remarks at a joint press conference after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov following their three-day negotiations.

Both US and Russia have agreed on the scope, the verification and monitoring and destruction of the chemical weapons arsenal.

According to the framework, Syria must submit a "comprehensive listing" of its chemical weapons stockpiles within one week, and weapons inspectors must be on the ground in Syria by November, Kerry said.

The listing should include names, types and quantities of its chemical weapons agents, types of ammunitions, and location and form of storage, production, and research and development facilities.

Kerry said that the two sides agreed that the most effective control of these weapons may be achieved by removal of the largest amounts of weapons feasible, under the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and their destruction outside of Syria.

Kerry said "we have committed to a standard that says, verify and verify." The goal is to destroy or remove Syria's chemical weapons by mid-2014, he said.

Timetable for Syrian chemical weapons will be set after the United Nations chemical weapons body's approval, Lavrov said. They started the crucial talks on Thursday evening on Russia's proposal to put Syria's chemical weapons under international control.

IANS

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