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US, France, Britain Want Binding Deadlines in Syria Resolution

The United States, France and Britain have agreed on the need for a strong United Nations resolution that sets precise and binding deadlines for Syria to give up its chemical weapons.

French President Francois Hollande's office announced the agreement Monday after a meeting in Paris with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Earlier efforts to address the Syrian crisis at the U.N. Security Council have failed, with Russia and China using their veto power to block any outside intervention.

The meeting Monday came days after the U.S. and Russia announced a plan that calls on Syria to detail its chemical weapons stockpile. The Syrian government has promised to comply.

In New York, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will brief the Security Council and the General Assembly on a report by chemical weapons investigators, who collected samples from a deadly attack near Damascus last month.



The investigators were tasked with confirming a chemical attack took place and not to assign blame.

The United States, Britain and France accuse Syrian forces of carrying out the attack, while the Syrian government says it was rebel fighters who deployed the chemical weapons.

The incident sparked threats of a military strike by the United States, which eased last week with a Russian proposal for the international community to take control of Syria's chemical arsenal.

Kerry said Sunday the threat of force against Syria is real if the country fails to live up to its agreement to rid itself of chemical weapons. He said President Bashar al-Assad's government needs to understand that the U.S. is committed to that goal.

While in Paris, Kerry is also due to meet with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal.

More than 100,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011, with the fighting displacing millions more within and outside of Syria.

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