U.S. and Russia agree to far-reaching chemical weapons removal effort in Syria
Kerry made the remarks on Monday in Jerusalem after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Kerry and Netanyahu discussed Iran, the quest for peace between Israelis and Palestinians and the matter of Syria. During a press briefing, Kerry clarified elements agreed to between Russia and the U.S. in a recent meeting in Geneva.
The U.S. and Russia agreed to a framework that would need to be put into effect by the U.N. that would strip all of the chemical weapons from Syria.
"The Russians have agreed, they state, that the Assad regime has agreed to make its declaration within one week of the location and the amount of those weapons," Kerry said. "And then we will put in place what we hope to put in place through the United Nations, what Russia and the United States agreed on, which is the most far-reaching chemical weapons removal effort well beyond the CWC that has been designed."
Kerry said U.S. President Barack Obama made it clear that the threat of force must remain real to ensure that Syria abides by the terms of the proposed framework. He also said the speedy removal of chemical weapons from Syria would set a marker for the standard of behavior in Iran, North Korea or any other state trying to use chemical weapons.
"The core principles with respect to the removal of these weapons and the containment of these weapons, which we want to achieve, as we said in the document, in the soonest, fastest, most effective way possible - if we achieve that, we will have set a marker for the standard of behavior with respect to Iran and with respect to North Korea and any other state, rogue state, group that decides to try to reach for these kinds of weapons," Kerry said.
Kerry said that the framework provides for the possibility of the use of force if Syria breaches the terms of the agreement.