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US and Russia reach deal on Syria weapons
September 14, 2013, 2:27 pm
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Syria has been given one week to declare its stock of chemical weapons, and the country must immediately allow in international inspectors, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday after talks in Geneva with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

Speaking at a press conference in Geneva on Saturday, after the third day of intense negotiations, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that arms inspectors should be on the ground in Syria by November with the goal of eliminating the country's chemical weapons by mid-2014.

"Providing this framework is fully implemented it can end the threat these weapons pose not only to the Syrian people but also to their neighbours,"  Kerry told reporters at a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov after they wrapped up three days of talks in Geneva.

"Because of the threat of proliferation this framework can provide greater protection and security to the world," he said.

"The world will now expect [President Bashar al-] Assad's regime to live up to its commitments... There can be no room for games. Or anything less than full compliance by the Assad regime," he added.

They said Syria must comply with the agreed deal and that if Damascus fails to do so, they will seek a Security Council resolution.

Lavrov said their decision was based upon "consensus and compromise", pointing out that the deal contained nothing about the potential use of force if Syria fails to comply.

But US Secretary of State John Kerry said there was no pre-agreement on what action the UN Security Council might take if Syria fails to comply with the plan, which envisages a complete destruction of its chemical weapons by mid-2014.

The negotiations between the US and Russia on securing Syria's chemical weapons also are considered key to a resumption of peace talks to end the Syrian civil war.

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