US, Russia Finalize Syria Resolution - Lavrov
UNITED NATIONS, September 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russia and the United States have agreed on a UN Security Council resolution that will not allow military action to enforce Syria's compliance with a US-Russian plan to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.
The draft resolution to be submitted to other Security Council members "does not envision any actions based on Chapter 7 of the UN Charter," which allows for military action to restore peace and security, Lavrov said following a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Washington has insisted that the threat of military force is crucial to ensuring that the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad abides by the terms of the US-Russia plan to secure and destroy Syria's chemical stockpiles, while Russia has said military intervention is unacceptable.
Lavrov added that the resolution finalized by Russia and the United States is in "strict" compliance with the US-Russian plan, which was hammered out between the two sides in Geneva earlier this month.
Kerry confirmed later on Thursday that an agreement with Russia has been reached, saying the international community "can now move forward and give life hopefully to the removal and destruction of chemical weapons from Syria.'
A full meeting of the 15-member council was called for 08.00 pm in New York Thursday (04:00 Moscow time on Friday) to discuss the draft resolution, according to the UN press service.
Washington and Moscow have also finalized a draft resolution on placing Syria's chemical weapons stockpile under international control for eventual destruction, Lavrov said. That resolution is being submitted to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the Hague for consideration, he said.
The administration of US President Barack Obama has accused Assad's government of responsibility for an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack outside Damascus that Washington claims left more than 1,400 dead.
Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have repeatedly suggested in recent weeks that they have evidence showing the attack was likely carried out by Syrian rebels seeking to frame Assad in order to secure outside military intervention against government forces.
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