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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.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Monday the task is difficult and complex, but stressed the need to maintain pressure on President Bashar al-Assad's government.



"It is the Assad regime that has stockpiled these weapons and that has used them repeatedly against the Syrian people, so the pressure is on them to comply with this agreement in full. The world must be prepared to hold them to account if they don't, and our three countries are certainly determined to do so."



Syria says it was rebel fighters, and not government forces, who used chemical weapons in a deadly attack last month near Damascus.

Hague spoke alongside French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after they met in Paris. The talks 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.

Kerry said Monday that anything less than full compliance by the Syrian government with a U.N. resolution would not be accepted. He also expressed the need to find a lasting solution beyond taking chemical weapons away from Mr. Assad's forces.





"We understand that removing the chemical weapons still leaves him with artillery and airplanes and he uses them indiscriminately against his people, and we are going to do everything in our power to continue to work towards the political resolution that is so critical to ending that violence."



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.

In New York Monday, 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 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.

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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