On Saturday, Syria agreed to a deal with the United States and Russia to dismantle the country’s chemical weapons stockpiles. This deal to destroy Syria’s stockpile, one that is believed to be of the biggest in the world, by mid-2014 was agreed upon after three days of deliberation in Geneva between John Kerry and the Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey Lavrov. The agreement gives Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a week to hand over details of his regime’s arsenal of the internationally banned arms. If al-Assad complies, he would be steering clear of unspecified sanctions and imminent US led military strikes. The deal also specifies there must be immediate access for arms control experts and that inspections of forty-five sites linked to the Syrian chemical weapons program must be completed by November. Syrian officials implied still that even though they were admitting to possession of chemical weapons, it was not to be inferred that the country had used them.
BBC reported that even though France accepted the deal, they still believed that force was on option. The French president, Francois Hollande, believes that the vote on a new United Nations Security Council resolution for Syria could be agreed upon by the end of the week. Yet the French president wants to make sure that Syria does not back delay or back out of the deal: “The military option must remain; otherwise there will be no pressure.”
Al Jazeera mentioned there was a lot of International support for the accord, notably China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, which has vetoed previous UN resolutions for Syria. “This agreement will enable tensions in Syria to be eased,” said China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi. This pact was also supported by the Germans, even though the German Foreign Minister Westerwelle warned: “It is important, however, that it be put into practice.” Arab League chief Nabil El-Araby was referring to it as “a step closer to a political solution” to a civil war that has cost Syria more than 110,000 lives since March 2011.
The Moscow Times referred to the agreement as a diplomatic victory for their government, boasting that they had knocked “the military trump card out of US hands.” The article also mentioned that like France, the US is not letting their guard down: “We need to see concrete actions to demonstrate that Assad is serious about giving up his chemical weapons,” Obama said. “And if diplomacy fails, the United States remains prepared to act.”
Do you think that al-Assad will turn over all of his chemical weapons, or is the Syrian government trying to swindle the rest of the world to better prepare themselves for an imminent war?
The New York Times
BBC – Middle East