News / USA

Kerry Sees ‘Consequences’ if Syria Violates CW Accord

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R), British Foreign Secretary William Hague (L) and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius attend a news conference after a meeting on Syria conflict at the Quai d'Orsay ministry in Paris Sept. 16, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R), British Foreign Secretary William Hague (L) and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius attend a news conference after a meeting on Syria conflict at the Quai d'Orsay ministry in Paris Sept. 16, 2013.
Al Pessin
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States, Britain, France and, importantly Russia, agree Syria must face unspecified “consequences” if it does not live up to the agreement on its chemical weapons.  But Russia is insisting there be no threat of force in an upcoming U.N. Security Council resolution. 

Kerry stopped Monday in Paris to brief his French and British counterparts on his weekend talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.  The two reached a framework agreement for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal by the middle of next year.  

After the Paris meeting, Kerry said the international community will insist Syrian President Bashar al-Assad complies.

“We will not tolerate avoidance or anything less than full compliance by the Assad regime to the core principles of what has been achieved here.  If Assad fails to comply with the terms of this framework, make no mistake, we are all agreed, and that includes Russia, that there will be consequences,” stated Kerry.

The secretary did not specify what the “consequences” will be.  But he also said the possibility of U.S. military action is “still on the table.”

Speaking minutes later in Moscow, Lavrov said if the three Western powers insist on a U.N. Security Council resolution that threatens the use of force, they would be “wrecking completely” the drive for peace talks on Syria. Russia wants any threat of force handled later, and only if necessary.

Lavrov said he expects the United States to “firmly adhere” to what he and Secretary Kerry agreed on during weekend talks in Geneva.  That agreement calls for U.N. inspections in Syria and commits the United States and Russia to support the use of force if Syria fails to comply.

A Security Council resolution is to formalize the plan, and Kerry said the resolution must have some enforcement mechanism.  Otherwise, he said, the Assad government will, in his words, “play games,” said Kerry.

“What we achieve in this agreement, as we translate [the] Geneva agreement into a United Nations resolution has to be strong and it has to be forceful.  It has to be real.  It has to be accountable.  It has to be transparent.  It has to be timely.  All of those things are critical.  And it has to be enforced.”

Secretary Kerry warned Assad not to take this agreement as recognition of his legitimacy or of any right to use his conventional forces against the opposition.  Kerry said the United States is committed to the opposition and to a political settlement to establish a transitional government to determine the future of Syria.

Kerry rejected complaints by some opposition leaders who want U.S. airstrikes on Syrian military targets.  Some in the opposition said they are left in a weaker position, but Kerry argued the agreement depriving the government of its most destructive type of weapon can only help the opposition.

He also rejected claims the plan is unworkable, saying if the Syrian government wants to comply, it can get inspectors into areas where its chemical weapons are stored, and the West will encourage the opposition not to disrupt the inspectors’ work.

At the Paris meeting, the three Western foreign ministers also said they will take further steps to strengthen the Syrian opposition, and will hold a meeting with its leaders in New York next week.

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: nadia from: Iran
September 16, 2013 12:44 PM
Now, for the opponents of Assad, has provided a great excuse to attack Iran to take revenge for the blood spilled. And if Iran is involved in that, America will be forced to intervene.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid