applauds Assad for prompt destruction of chemical weapons
Media WASHINGTON—Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that Syrian leader Bashar
al-Assad should be given the "credit" for quickly starting the process
of destroying chemical weapons and arsenal, and thanked Russia for its help.
"The process has begun in record time and we are appreciative for the
Russian cooperation and obviously for the Syrian compliance," he told
reporters alongside Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov after talks
"I think it's extremely significant that
yesterday, Sunday, within a week of the (UN) resolution being passed,
some chemical weapons were being destroyed," Kerry said. "I think it's
also a credit to the Assad regime for complying, frankly, as they are
supposed to. We hope that will continue. I am not going to vouch today
for what happens months down the road. But it's a good beginning and we
should welcome a good beginning."
In less expansive comments
on the latest developments, Lavrov said he was "satisfied", and promised
Russia would continue to ensure Assad's government completed the
dismantling process. "The Russian side will do everything so Damascus
will follow the co-operation without any changes," Lavrov told reporters
in Russian, with his comments translated into English.
destroyed missile warheads, aerial bombs and chemical mixing equipment
Sunday on the first day of the campaign to eliminate Syria's chemical
weapons, the UN said.
The operation, performed by Syrian
personnel under the supervision of international disarmament experts,
took place under the terms of a UN Security Council resolution that will
see Damascus relinquish the banned arms.
Kerry emphasised the
dismantling process had occurred in "record time", and hailed it as a
model for international co-operation. "I think that was a terrific
example of global co-operation, of multilateral efforts, to accomplish
an accepted goal," he said.
Concerning the Geneva II conference, Lavrov said Russia and the US
have agreed to push for holding Syria peace talks in mid-November.
"Today we agreed on the steps needed for both the government and the
opposition to come to the conference," Lavrov was quoted as saying by
the RIA-Novosti news agency.Add