US won’t ‘wait for long’ for Syria arms plan

Tuesday, September 10, 2013
By Paul Martin

AFP.com
Sept 10, 2013

WASHINGTON — The United States is waiting to see a Russian proposal to put Syria’s chemical weapons stock under international control, but will not wait for long, top diplomat John Kerry said Tuesday.

And Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said while everyone was hopeful the move could be “a real solution to the crisis,” he warned the threat of “credible, real” US military action had to remain on the table.

Kerry, claiming US ownership of the plan to rein in chemical weapons first floated Monday, said: “Yesterday, we challenged the regime to turn them over to the secure control of the international community so that they could be destroyed.”

Such a move “would be the ultimate way to degrade and deter” the arsenal held by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, he told the House Armed Services Committee.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had promised Kerry he would come up with a proposal to achieve the plan.

“We’re waiting for that proposal. But we’re not waiting for long,” Kerry said.

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