U.S., UK and France to Boost Aid for Syrian Rebels
The U.S., UK and France have agreed to bolster Syrian rebels by providing them with more help, press Syria into delivering on its promise to hand over chemical weapons and seek an end to the conflict, Russia Today (RT) reports.
The intentions were voiced by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and his counterparts from Washington and London at a joint media conference on Monday.
Fabius was speaking in Paris just days after the U.S. and Russia reached an agreement under which Washington will put its plans to use military force against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad on hold in exchange for Damascus dismantling its chemical weapons arsenal.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed America’s adherence to the plan, but said there must be consequences for Syria if it does not deliver on its promise. The disarmament deal is to be formalized by a UN Security Council resolution yet to be voted on.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, meanwhile, pledged that the three countries would work with Russia to gather an international conference in Geneva to negotiate a peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis.
Kerry stressed Washington’s position that the UN resolution is not “a lifeline” for Assad, who has “lost all legitimacy” after more than two years of fighting with rebel forces.
Damascus is expected to submit within a week’s time an inventory of related chemical arms and facilities, which will be put under international control in the wake of the chemical disarmament.
French President Francois Hollande warned on Sunday that the deal to eradicate Syria's chemical arms was "not an end point" and kept the option of military strikes open.
Hollande said the deal on Syria was "an important step" but was "not an end point", adding "the military option must remain, otherwise there will be no constraint."
Syria's information minister Omran Al-Zoubi told British television on Sunday that Damascus would commit to the plan to eradicate its chemical weapons once it has United Nations approval.