French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius met with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Moscow on Tuesday to discuss the details of a proposed UN resolution overseeing the handover of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal.
Watch FRANCE 24’s live coverage of joint France-Russia press conference on Syria at 11:30am Paris time:
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius met with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Tuesday to discuss the details of a proposed UN resolution to place Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons under international control.
The talks come one day after France, Britain and the United States said they would push for a “strong” text that allows for “serious consequences” if Syria fails to comply with the precise terms dictating the handover of its chemical arms.
Russia has expressed its opposition to the threat of a US-led military strike against Syria over the past many days, repeating that diplomatic efforts will fail unless the threat is removed.
Lavrov and Fabius were expected to discuss differences over the proposed UN resolution’s wording.
UN report confirms use of chemical weapons
A highly anticipated report by the United Nations released on Monday confirmed that the deadly nerve agent sarin gas had been used in an attack outside of Syria’s capital Damascus on August 21, but stopped short of assigning blame.
France, Britain and the United States seized upon the report, arguing it left “little doubt” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces were responsible for the onslaught.
The US first raised the threat of a military strike against Syria in response to the attack, which it says claimed the lives of at least 1,400 people. After weeks of mounting tensions, the United States and Russia – a close Syrian ally – reached a deal in Geneva on September 14 to remove and ultimately dismantle Syria’s chemical weapon arsenal by mid-2014.
Under the terms of the US-Russian agreement, the United Nations Security Council will oversee the handover of Syria’s chemical arms.
Russia, however, still has the power to veto a UN resolution on the initiative.
Date created : 2013-09-17