Lavrov: Russian, U.S. delegations reach deal on ways to put Syrian chemical weapons under intl control, destroying them
The Russian and U.S. delegations in Geneva have managed to reach an agreement on ways to put the Syrian chemical weapons under international control, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
"We have reached the goal, which was set in a conversation between our presidents on the sidelines of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg on Friday, September 5, and which was then officially announced just recently, last Monday, on resolving the tasks of putting the Syrian chemical weapons arsenals under international control," Lavrov said in summing up outcomes of his negotiations with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday.
"We have actually managed to put aside irrelevant rhetoric and concentrate on professional coordination of practical ways of attaining the goal of putting the Syrian chemical arsenal under international control and further destroying it," Lavrov said.
The implementation of the Russian-U.S. agreement on the Syrian chemical weapons will help avoid a military strike on this country, and Moscow and Washington are committed to a political settlement of the Syria problem, Lavrov said.
"The implementation of these agreements will not only matter in terms of achieving the general goal of eliminating all chemical weapons stockpiles but will also help avoid a military scenario, which, without any exaggeration, would be catastrophic for this region and for all international relations," he said.
"John Kerry and I have clearly reaffirmed our commitment to a peaceful settlement of the crisis in Syria," Lavrov said.
"It seems to me that we have reached coordinated Russian-American proposals in an unprecedentedly short time - I'd like to stress that these are proposals that have yet to take a legal form - and their significance is hard to overestimate," he said.
Lavrov described the Russian-U.S. documents on Syria consensus-based, compromise, and professional.
"We hope that the members of the [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] Executive Council will share the Russian-U.S. approaches and will make a decision on measures in relation to the Syrian chemical weapons on the basis of our proposals," Lavrov said.
"We have also agreed that we should gain UN Security Council's support for the OPCW activities, primarily on the matters going beyond the jurisdiction of the OPCW itself. I would particularly mention the especially important subject of inspectors' security," he said.