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UN Security Council to Vote on Syria Resolution

The United Nations Security Council is expected to vote late Friday on a draft resolution that will call for Syria to give up its chemical weapons arsenal.

The timing of a vote depends on when the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons can adopt a plan for securing and destroying Syria's stockpile. The world's top chemical weapons monitoring group is meeting in The Hague.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told VOA Syria will support the resolution "as long as it is according to our commitment when we joined the agreement." He said the Syrian government is "seriously committed to fulfill our obligations."

The United States and Russia agreed Thursday on the language of the Security Council resolution, following weeks of talks about how to ensure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad complies with the disarmament plan.

The draft resolution gives inspectors access to Syria's chemical weapons sites but does not threaten military force.

Russia, an ally of Mr. Assad's government, had opposed the inclusion of military action or sanctions should Syria fail to comply.



On Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama called the resolution a "huge victory" for the international community. He said it is a "legally binding" and "verifiable" initiative that threatens consequences if Syria does not adhere to conditions.

The resolution calls for inspections within 30 days at all chemical weapons sites declared by Syria's government. International experts are supposed to begin inspecting Syria's chemical arsenal by Tuesday

The resolution also requires Mr. Assad to give up his chemical weapons by mid-2014.

In violence Friday, activists said a car bomb killed at least 30 people and wounded dozens in the town of Rankus, just north of Damascus. Rankus is a Sunni town in a region mostly under control of rebels trying to overthrow Mr. Assad's government.

The conflict in Syria has killed more than 100,000 people.

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