A Framework for the Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
September 15, 2013
Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Lavrov Speak to the Press in Geneva
Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Lavrov Hold a Press Conference on Syria in Geneva
Press Conference on Syria at UN Headquarters in Geneva
Secretary Kerry Meets With UN Special Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi in Geneva

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met in Geneva, Switzerland, September 12-14, to discuss matters concerning Syria, including the use of chemical weapons and steps to address these developments.

Taking into account the decision of the Syrian Arab Republic to accede to the Chemical Weapons Convention and the commitment of the Syrian authorities to provisionally apply the Convention prior to its entry into force, the United States and the Russian Federation expressed their joint determination to ensure the destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons program (CW) in the soonest and safest manner.  In furtherance of the objective to eliminate the Syrian chemical weapons program, the United States and the Russian Federation have reached a shared assessment of the amount and type of chemical weapons involved, and are committed to the immediate international control over chemical weapons and their components in Syria. You can read more about these efforts in the Framework for the Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons.

Following his meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov, Secretary Kerry said, "...Diplomacy requires willing partners. And I want to thank President Putin for his willingness to pick up on the possibility of negotiating an end to Syrian weapons of mass destruction. His willingness to embrace ideas for how to accomplish this goal, and his willingness to send Foreign Minister Lavrov here to pursue this effort was essential to getting to this point. And I want to thank Sergey Lavrov for his diligent efforts and the efforts of his entire delegation, who worked hard and in good faith to overcome difficulties, and even disagreements, in order to try to find a way, through tireless efforts, to get us where we are today."

Secretary Kerry continued, "...I also want to be clear about the endgame here. If we can join together and make this framework a success and eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons, we would not only save lives, but we would reduce the threat to the region, and reinforce an international standard, an international norm. We could also lay the groundwork for further cooperation that is essential to end the bloodshed that has consumed Syria for more than two years.

"What we agreed on here today could conceivably be the first critical, concrete step in that direction. The United States and Russia have long agreed that there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria. It has to be political. It has to happen at the negotiating table. And we, together, remain deeply committed to getting there. From the beginning, President Obama has repeated again and again there is no military solution. We must find a political solution through diplomacy."

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Eric J.
New Mexico, USA
September 16, 2013

There is still a paradox that needs to be resolved. To disarm Assad's regime of chemical weapons at the same time as arming the regime with conventional weaponry used on his own people is not in keeping with the basis for disarming him of chemical weapons in the first place, if not to save lives being that basis of "taking control" of those weapons.

But it is significant that Russia has taken the iniative to perform as a responsible member of the family of nations for a change.

And that change is what is significant...and sometimes it takes a lot for a government to make a fundemental realization that America is pretty reasonable...but far less so with dictators and their destructive potential.

That it may not be in a nation's national interests to support dictators, or arm them, only to have to go disarm them before rishing becoming complicit in the genocide dictators are want to perpetrate with the weapons sold to them.

Never mind that al-quaida loves a conflict like flies do...-.

And the opposition says "this agreement doesn't concern us."

And a lot of senators are musing that Russia has gained an "upper hand"...I think not.

Russia doesn't do anything that is not implicitly in its own national interests...and supporting Assad was a huge foreign policy mistake they have made, and are just now coming to grips with just how much of a mistake it actually represents to them.

The only way Russia can be worthy of other nation's respect is to lean on Assad's regime so hard that if Assad some how doesn't comply fully with the terms, that America won't have to get kinetic on him.

And since the Russians seem to be able to jerk Assad's puppet strings to do their bidding, it's only logical to assume they can ground his air-force, and silence his artillery, and tell Assad to park his tanks and have his forces return to barracks, or else....they'll remove Assad from power themselves to save us the trouble and them the embarrasment of having us solve their problem-child's malfunction of understanding for them.

I mean that a logicly minded person would have to wonder whether Mr. Putin is more perturbed by Mr. Obama calling for military action , or Assad being in the process of comitting genocide by making total war upon his fellow citizens of Syria?

At this point I can't see Mr. Putin being too pleased with Bashar al-Assad, and the most peaceful way to resolve all this is for the Russians to take Assad with them when they repo all the weapons they've sold to him.

Because if Putin could make that happen, he'll not only have corrected a serious foreign policy blunder in supporting Assad, he'll have earned America's respect...and be in a lot better standing with our government and our representitives. As well as with the rest of the world I suspect.

But if this is all a dog and pony show to keep Assad's freak show alive and well, continuing to conduct its grisly three-ring circus along with Hizbolla and Ayatollah's goon squads...

Mr. Putin will never hear the end of it.


Brice P.
California, USA
September 24, 2013
The next and more challenging step will be to remove those chemical weapons being deployed by foreign mercenary groups opposed to the Syrian government.


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