Syria won't Make Chemical Deadline
There are indications that the Syrian government will not submit an inventory of its chemical weapons facilities to international inspectors by this weekend's deadline, according to the Los Angeles Times.
With the approach of the end of a seven-day period specified in the framework deal that Washington and Moscow announced last weekend in Geneva, Marie Harf, a State Department spokeswoman, said Wednesday that "our goal is to see forward momentum" by Saturday, not the full list of sites. "We've never said it was a hard and fast deadline."
The LAT said that “It wasn't clear whether Syrian officials needed more time to complete a formal declaration of their chemical arms, or whether the disarmament deal itself was in trouble.”
Secretary of State John F. Kerry had said Saturday that "We agreed that Syria must submit within a week — not in 30 days, but in one week — a comprehensive listing.” He said the U.S. would allow "no games, no room for avoidance, or anything less than full compliance."
Meanwhile, the UN resolution that the US and Russia are supposed to agree upon regarding the Syrian chemical weapons is also being held up. Diplomats said “Western countries split with Russia in a meeting Tuesday over Western demands for tough enforcement of the agreement,” the LAT reported.
According to an agreement between the US and Russia, Syria is to relinquish control of its chemical weapons stores. This agreement is what supposedly halted US preparations for a military strike on Syria, pending approval from Congress for such a strike.
Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced Saturday that they had reached an agreement according to which Syria's chemical weapons must be destroyed or removed by mid-2014.
The agreement was reached after three days of intense negotiations in Geneva.
Syria must hand over a full list of its chemical weapons stockpile within a week or United States and Russia will seek a United Nations Security Council resolution against it backed by the threat of sanctions or military force, Kerry and Lavrov said at a news conference Saturday.