Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russia’s deputy foreign minister says Syria has planned to
remove a large shipment of toxic chemical agents this month.
“Literally yesterday the Syrians announced that the removal of a large shipment of
chemical substances is planned in February,” Gennady Gatilov said on Tuesday.
“They are ready to complete this process by March 1,” the Russian official added.
On September 14, 2013, Russia and the United States agreed on a deal according to
which Syria would see its chemical weapons eliminated and the US would in return not
follow through planned military action against the country.
Under the deal, supervised by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical
Weapons (OPCW), Nordic vessels are set to collect the chemicals from the port city
of Latakia and take them to a port in Italy, where they will be loaded onto a US ship
In late October, Damascus destroyed its critical chemical weapons production
equipment, meeting a November 1 deadline set by the OPCW Executive Council. The
UN-mandated disarmament operation is due to be completed by the middle of 2014.
The US administration, however, has accused the Syrian government of dragging its
feet in the effort to eliminate the chemical weapons stockpile.
Russia has rejected the charges by Washington, saying a June 30 deadline to destroy
Syria’s arsenal of toxic agents remains viable despite delays.The Russian Foreign
Ministry has said that the delays are due to security problems on the road to Latakia
and insufficient technical support.
Source: Islam Times
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed
Thursday that after weeks of negotiations a deal had been struck with the United
States on a resolution regarding Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile.
“We reached an understanding with the United States on a draft resolution,” Lavrov
told reporters at the Security Council.
He gave no details on the contents of the draft agreement.
The US and Russia are expected to submit the resolution to the full 15-member
Security Council. A meeting in New York has been called for 8 p.m. local time.
The resolution has the potential to become the first to be passed by the Security
Council since the Syrian conflict erupted in March 2011.
Source: Radio Deutsche Welle
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—French President François Hollande said he is waiting
for the report by UN inspectors on the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
“We will wait for the report from inspectors while we wait for the US Congress [to
make a decision]” said Hollande at the end of the two-day G20 meeting in St
His announcement comes amidst efforts by France and the US to garner support to
prepare for military action in Syria following the use of chemical weapons that killed
more than 1400 people.
He added that the UN report will only confirm if chemical weapons were indeed used,
but not who used them. Both Paris and Washington maintain they have proof that
chemical weapons were used by Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
The French president acknowledged that the G20 made evident the rift between the
member states with regards to the use of chemical weapons in the Syria.
“The report by the UN inspectors should ideally be delivered as soon as possible,
which would be much appreciated by everyone” added Hollande.
“The best case scenario would be if the UN Security Council played a role in
condemning the use of chemical weapons given that the mission of inspectors is in
fact a mission by the United Nations” said the French president. “If not, then a large
coalition will need to form to put together all the countries who do not accept that
one country, that one regime, can use chemical weapons”.
He assured everyone that France’s position was “compromised” by other European
countries, which are largely against military action.
Source: Radio France Internationale
Newscast Media MOSCOW—While the media has been quick to find pictures of dead Syrians and post them on the Web alleging a chemical attack by Assad on his own people, Moscow is taking a different approach and sees things differently.
Moscow does not rule out that reports alleging the use of chemical weapons in Syria, claims released as a UN investigative team began working in the country, are a “planned provocation” by media outlets to sway public opinion against the ruling regime, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Wednesday.
“Moscow considers it important to conduct an objective and professional investigation,” ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said. He said later in the day that a homemade rocket “with an unidentified chemical agent” was launched Wednesday in a Damascus suburb from the Syrian rebels’ positions, similar to the one launched Monday in Khan al-Assal.
A UN team of chemical weapons investigators, headed by Swedish expert Ake Sellstrom, started working in Damascus on Monday. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon confirmed that the team would investigate a reported March 19 chemical attack in Khan al-Assal as well as alleged attacks in two other locations being kept secret for security reasons.
The Syrian opposition has accused the government of killing scores of people in a massive nerve gas attack in Damascus, with death toll estimates varying from a hundred to more than a thousand people.
Russia’s UN mission said Wednesday that the UN Security Council would hold an emergency meeting over the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria. Both sides in the ongoing Syrian civil war have traded allegations of chemical weapons use. The UN investigative team had been unable to travel to Syria because of diplomatic wrangling over the scope of the access they would have.
Meanwhile, Syria Arab News Agency (SANA) has refuted the claims and said the reports circulated by the TV channels of al-Jazeera, al-Arabiya, Sky News and other channels which are involved in the shedding of Syrian blood and supporting terrorism, are completely baseless, and that the aim behind broadcasting such reports is to distract the UN chemical weapons investigation committee from its mission.
In a telephone call with the Syrian TV, Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said a media and political campaign of lies began today, led by some Arab and foreign channels, accompanied by statements from officials in countries known for their hostile stances towards Syria.
Source: SANA/Ria Novosti