September 10, 2013 - 16:47 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - France will put a resolution to the UN Security Council to place Syria's chemical weapons under international control so they can be destroyed, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said, according to BBC News.
He said it would threaten "extremely serious" consequences if Syria breached its conditions.
Fabius, who was speaking at a news conference in Paris, said the resolution, based around five points, would demand that Syria "bring fully to light" its chemical weapons program. The measure would also set up international inspections and controls of the dismantling process.
The resolution would be tabled under Chapter 7 of the UN charter covering possible military and non-military action to restore peace, Fabius added.
The plan had been discussed before, he said, but has probably been advanced by the pressure applied in recent weeks.
Both France and the United States are wary of an Iraq-style game of cat and mouse - but they are prepared to give the Moscow-backed plan a chance.
What the French are keen to avoid, Fabius said, is a plan that is only there as a delaying tactic, which is why all options, including the threat of a strike, will remain on the table.
Russia threw its backing behind a proposal that Syria’s chemical weapons be put under international control, leading Damascus to say it “welcomes the … initiative” if it would indeed help prevent a U.S. strike on the war-torn country.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Moscow that “if putting chemical weapons in that country [Syria] under international control would prevent strikes, we’re immediately beginning to work with Damascus,” and that a proposal had already been passed on to Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid Muallem.
Lavrov and Muallem held a meeting, though it was not clear when or whether they discussed the proposal, RIA Novosti reported.
Muallem, in turn, said that Syria “welcomes the Russian initiative” and is “confident in the wisdom of the Russian leadership, which is trying to prevent American aggression against our people,” according to a Russian translation of the Arabic.
The text of the Russian proposal was not made public, but Lavrov said: “We are calling on the Syrian leadership not only to agree to the placement of chemical weapons storage sites under international control, but also to [their] eventual destruction, and to full accession to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.”
U.S. President Barack Obama, seeking to boost support for military action against Syria, said that Russia's offer to work with Damascus to put its chemical weapons under international control could be a big deal - if it is serious.