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Kerry, Lavrov: Syria to Give Up the Stash in 1 Week—Maybe

John Kerry's remarks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov after their meeting, at the Intercontinental Hotel, Geneva, Switzerland, September 14, 2013.
Secretary Kerry shaking hands with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov (sitting), after the two have finalized an agreement on Syria in Geneva, Switzerland, September 14, 2013.

Secretary Kerry shaking hands with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov (sitting), after the two have finalized an agreement on Syria in Geneva, Switzerland, September 14, 2013.
Photo Credit: Dept. of State

Secretary Kerry: Let me just say that we have agreed, as you will see in the documents, on a basic assessment of the numbers and types and locations – we have agreed between us, and that’s a very important point here. Because we expect the Assad regime, obviously, in its declaration, to show the candor that we have shown in reaching that agreement.

With respect to the issue of destruction, there is a clause in which we agreed that we will contribute resources, including finance to some degree. We have a certain amount of budget for this kind of purpose. And we will seek, in the process of the UN and in the effort to have a global commitment to this, help from many other of our international partners. But we’re convinced the urgency of this will be a test for the international community’s commitment to the Chemical Weapons Convention and to the importance of restraining chemical weapons and weapons of mass destruction…

Foreign Minister Lavrov: (Via interpreter) As far as who is going to pay, I think that you heard that there were countries who were ready to pay for the war, and I’m sure that there will be such countries, perhaps not the same countries, who will be ready to finance the peaceful solution of the problem.

Moderator: The next question will be from David Lerman of Bloomberg.

Secretary Kerry: We’re going to send Sergey to talk to them and make that arrangement. (Laughter.)

Question: David Lerman from Bloomberg. Sir, just five days ago in London, when you first floated this idea publicly, you seemed to dismiss it at the time by saying Assad would never do it and, quote, “It can’t be done, obviously.” My question, sir, is how did the impossible suddenly become possible? And why is it credible to think that you can send these inspectors in on the ground in the middle of a civil war?

Secretary Kerry: Sure.

Question: And, as a practical matter, if you really want to get thorough, verifiable inspections in all corners of the country, don’t you have to stop the fighting first?

Secretary Kerry: Let me answer both questions. I purposefully made the statements that I made in London, and I did indeed say it was impossible and he won’t do it, even as I hoped it would be possible and wanted him to do it. And the language of diplomacy sometimes requires that you put things to the test, and we did.

Sergey and I have been talking even three days before that about this very concept. We had two phone calls on the Thursday and Friday before it. And I got a phone call very quickly from Sergey saying let’s see if we can take this and move, and he talked to his president and they talked – our presidents talked in St. Petersburg, and the rest is history. We’re here.

So, obviously, I would hope and always hoped that we could have removed those weapons, and we wanted to. But we didn’t know whether or not this could be given the kind of life it has been given in the last 48 hours. So, it just didn’t make sense to raise a concept that hadn’t yet been put to the test or agreed upon or worked through. I’m pleased that President Putin took initiative, and Sergey took initiative, and President Obama responded, and we’re here.

And so the question is, “So where do we go from here, and how do we build on this,” which I think is really critical. Now, how do you do this, quote, “in a time of war”? Well, look, this is logical. One of the reasons that we believe this is achievable is because the Assad regime has taken extraordinary pains in order to keep control of these weapons. And they have moved them, and we know they’ve moved them. We’ve seen them move them. We watched this. And so we know they’ve continued to always move them to a place of more control.

Therefore, since these weapons are in areas under regime control predominantly, Sergey raises questions that maybe the opposition has some here or there, and absolutely, fair is fair. Both sides have to be responsible. If they do, that also – and that may present a larger challenge. But those of us who have been supporting the opposition have a responsibility to help create access there, and the regime has responsibility where we believe the – the measure – in fact, we believe the only weapons are – ought to be accessible because the Assad regime controls the access.

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10 Responses to “Kerry, Lavrov: Syria to Give Up the Stash in 1 Week—Maybe”

  1. Shemayah Shiloh Phillips says:

    Maybe.

  2. So Russia with the one hand tries to make a deal so the west won’t bomb Assad and while people try to get on board with them, they stab the west in the back by making a deal with Iran to supply S-300‘s. The issue is that they are forgetting that if Russia starts to send S-300‘s to Iran; Israel at the very least will likely attack the shipments. It’s not just the US that won’t like that sale. That could be the trigger that sets this whole thing off and in a big way. Russia simply should not take this action, BUT they are and I really doubt that they will pull back from it. The clock is ticking down in the Middle East. It just seems that we have no shortage of bad decisions built upon the dried bones of former bad decisions. As Iran looks to avoid getting their nuclear program bombed, they buy weapons that will almost certainly result in military conflict, and Russia who people just stated were brilliant political chess players just turned over the chess board. Perhaps the players don’t understand that this is NOT a game of chess! I wrote a small 6 page book that outlines what I believe the Bible states will take place soon as well as the potential trends I see at this time. I don’t accept donations and it’s free. It’s a short read. I encourage you to have a look: http://www.booksie.com/religion_and_spirituality/book/richard_b_barnes/after-the-rapture-whats-next

  3. Sarah Ron says:

    Kerry and Putin also working on a deal to send Miley Cyrus and her wrecking ball over to Free Pussy Riot Now! (Putin, fear no art.)

    .

  4. Sarah Ron says:

    Kerry and Putin also working on a deal to send Miley Cyrus and her wrecking ball over to Free Pussy Riot Now! (Putin, fear no art.)

    .

  5. Before everyone gets so excited about the deal struck in regards to chemical weapons being surrendered, it may be worth remembering that there is no way to determine if the stash of weapons being surrendered is the entire arsenal of chemical weapons. In addition, nothing that I have seen convinces me that it was Assad who used the weapons and not one of the rebel groups. I would like to know why there wasn't an outcry after the thirteen other times chemical weapons were being used. In subcommittee hearings last week, Kerry claimed that the rebels were moderates but I have read reports that many of these people are connected to terrorist groups. Most strategists don't believe Obama's efforts of shooting missiles into Syria would have done anything in stopping chemical weapons from being used. What it would have had done is inflamed the situation, thereby increasing the possibility of retaliation and strikes against Israel. If the international community would have done something much earlier when the conflict first broke out, they could have gotten a handle on where the chemical weapons were located and what factions of groups were involved. In reality, what has really been accomplished. While these negotiations are taking place, we could be allowing the weapons to be dispersed. Perhaps if the United Nations and European Union spent more time in addressing the problems in Syria and less time condemning Israel about settlements and just about every other problem in the world, more prudent measures could have been taken and we wouldn't be facing the current problems.

  6. Before everyone gets so excited about the deal struck in regards to chemical weapons being surrendered, it may be worth remembering that there is no way to determine if the stash of weapons being surrendered is the entire arsenal of chemical weapons. In addition, nothing that I have seen convinces me that it was Assad who used the weapons and not one of the rebel groups. I would like to know why there wasn't an outcry after the thirteen other times chemical weapons were being used. In subcommittee hearings last week, Kerry claimed that the rebels were moderates but I have read reports that many of these people are connected to terrorist groups. Most strategists don't believe Obama's efforts of shooting missiles into Syria would have done anything in stopping chemical weapons from being used. What it would have had done is inflamed the situation, thereby increasing the possibility of retaliation and strikes against Israel. If the international community would have done something much earlier when the conflict first broke out, they could have gotten a handle on where the chemical weapons were located and what factions of groups were involved. In reality, what has really been accomplished. While these negotiations are taking place, we could be allowing the weapons to be dispersed. Perhaps if the United Nations and European Union spent more time in addressing the problems in Syria and less time condemning Israel about settlements and just about every other problem in the world, more prudent measures could have been taken and we wouldn't be facing the current problems.

  7. Kerry go home and tell Obama is to late, now Assad is moving the chemical weapons to the civilian areas, civilians moving to strategic military places, the civilians will be human shields, if there is a US light attack, there would be many but many civilians dead and worst the chemical weapons bombed, which dead gasses wil expand to Lebanon, Turkey, Irak, Jordan, Israel, this are the neighbor countries, what about Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Emirates, Qatar, etc:, this could the greatest human catastrophe of all times, not to say how much deads, the best is that the US should not get involved to the Syrian civil war, let them kill each other: sunnies, shiites, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, etc:.

  8. Yechiel Baum says:

    WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
    "RETURN TO SENDER" ????

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