Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 54738
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2017/12/15 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
12/15   

2013/9/9-11/21 [Politics/Foreign/MiddleEast/Others] UID:54738 Activity:nil
9/9     "Syria positive about giving up chemical weapons"
        http://www.csua.org/u/1165 (news.yahoo.com)
        Damn!  We did all the dirty work, and now Russia is going to get the
        credits.
        \_ Vladimir Putin for Nobel Prize!
2017/12/15 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
12/15   

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www.csua.org/u/1165 -> news.yahoo.com/syria-positive-giving-chemical-weapons-160934250.html
Associated Press VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV 1 hour ago MOSCOW (AP) -- Syria on Monday quickly welcomed a call from Russia, its close ally, to place Syrian chemical arsenals under international control, then destroy them to avert a US strike, but did not offer a time frame or any other specifics. The statement by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem appeared to mean that diplomatic efforts to end Syria's 2 -year civil war were gaining momentum. But it remained to be seen whether it represented a genuine goodwill gesture by Syria or simply an attempt by Syrian President Bashar Assad to buy more time to prepare for a US military attack. "Syria welcomes the Russian proposal out of concern for the lives of the Syrian people, the security of our country and because it believes in the wisdom of the Russian leadership that seeks to avert American aggression against our people," al-Moallem said during a visit to Moscow, where he held talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. However, al-Moallem, would not give any further details in his brief statement and didn't take any questions from reporters. Russia's proposal confirmed for the first time from Syria's most important international ally that the Syrian government possesses chemical weapons, and al-Moallem's welcome was a tacit acknowledgment. Syria's Foreign Ministry last year retracted a threat to use chemical weapons, saying it was not acknowledging that it had them. Moallem's statement came a few hours after US Secretary of State John Kerry said Assad could resolve the crisis surrounding the alleged use of chemical weapons by his forces by surrendering control of "every single bit" of his arsenal to the international community by the end of the week. Also Monday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Syria to immediately agree to transfer chemical weapons and chemical precursors to a safe place within the country for international destruction. Ban said he will also propose to the Security Council that it unite and demand an immediate chemical weapons transfer should UN inspectors conclude that such weapons were used in an attack Aug. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Lavrov's proposal "deserves close examination" but the chemical weapons would have to be placed under international control in a short time and those responsible for "the chemical massacre" must be punished. Al-Moallem and Lavrov didn't make any immediate reference to Kerry's statement when they spoke to the media after their talks, but a few hours later Lavrov went before cameras to say that Moscow would urge Syria to quickly place its chemical weapons under international control and then dismantle it. Lavrov, who held talks with al-Moallem in Moscow earlier in the day, said he expected a quick positive answer from Damascus. "If the establishment of international control over chemical weapons in that country would allow avoiding strikes, we will immediately start working with Damascus," Lavrov said. "We are calling on the Syrian leadership to not only agree on placing chemical weapons storage sites under international control, but also on its subsequent destruction and fully joining the treaty on prohibition of chemical weapons," he said. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov welcomes his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Moallem, left, prior ... The surprise series of statements from top US, Russian and Syrian diplomats followed media reports alleging that Russian President Vladimir Putin, who discussed Syria with President Barack Obama during the Group of 20 summit in St. Petersburg last week, had sought to negotiate a deal that would have Assad hand over control of chemical weapons. Putin himself said Friday at a news conference marking the summit's end that he and Obama discussed some new ideas regarding a peaceful settlement of the crisis and instructed Kerry and Lavrov to work out details. Speaking Monday, Lavrov denied that Russia was trying to sponsor any deal "behind the back of the Syrian people." The Russian move comes as Obama, who has blamed Assad for killing hundreds of his own people in a chemical attack outside Damascus last month, is pressing for a limited military strike against the Syrian government. The Syrian regime has denied launching the attack, insisting along with Russia that the attack was launched by the rebels to drag the US into the civil war. Lavrov and al-Moallem said after their talks that UN chemical weapons experts should complete their probe and present their findings to the UN Security Council. 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