BEIRUT (AP) — A Russian plan under which Syria would turn over its chemical weapons in order to avoid Western missile strikes is hitting some snags.
The plan bogged down today when Moscow rejected U.S. and French demands for a binding U.N. resolution that would include "very severe consequences" for non-compliance.
The proposal would put the chemical weapons of the Bashar Assad regime under international control, before they are eventually destroyed. The initiative appeared to offer a way out of a crisis that raised the prospect of U.S.-led military action against Syria, in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack last month.
But world powers have been haggling over how the plan would be enforced. France and the U.S. are wary of falling into what the French foreign minister calls a "trap." And they're pushing for a U.N. Security Council resolution to verify Syria's disarmament.
The prospect of a deal that could be enforced militarily met with swift opposition from Russia.
Syria's foreign minister, during a visit to Moscow today, said Syria would place its chemical weapons locations in the hands of representatives of Russia, other unspecified countries and the United Nations.
241-a-12-(Michael Rubin, Middle East scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a former Pentagon official, in AP interview)-"the same game"-Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon official and now a Middle East scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, says it's unclear whether Syria's president is sincere about actually coming clean with the international community. (10 Sep 2013)
<<CUT *241 (09/10/13)££ 00:12 "the same game"
238-a-05-(Michael Rubin, Middle East scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a former Pentagon official, in AP interview)-"Americans played checkers"-Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon official and now a Middle East scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, says the Russian proposal to have Syria turn over its chemical weapons stores seems to have caught the U.S. off guard. (10 Sep 2013)
<<CUT *238 (09/10/13)££ 00:05 "Americans played checkers"
GRAPHICSBANK: Bashar Assad headshot, as Syria President, listens during a PBS interview, Presidential Palace, Damascus, Syria, graphic element on gray (10 Sep 2013)
GRAPHICSBANK: Barack Obama, as US President, arrives on Capitol Hill to meet with Senate Democrats and Republicans on Syria, Washington, DC, over Dome of the US Capitol, graphic element on gray (10 Sep 2013)