WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday and Friday, to discuss Syria's chemical weapons, the State Department said Wednesday.
Kerry and Lavrov will discuss matters concerning Syria, including "the use of chemical weapons and steps to address these developments," the State Department said in a press release.
The meeting was announced by President Barack Obama during a prime time address to the nation Tuesday evening, when he welcomed a Russian proposal to put Syrian chemical weapons under international control.
In her daily press briefing, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said a team of experts on weapons will accompany Kerry to Geneva to the meeting.
"We will also be bringing a team of experts to meet with their team of experts," she told reporters, adding the U.S. and Russian side would "figure out how to make the (chemical weapons) destruction effort logistically and technically possible."
Psaki said the Russian proposal is far from complete, as Moscow had "put forward ideas" rather than a "lengthy package," and there are "components that need to be worked out."
"Our goal here is to test the seriousness of this proposal, to talk about the specifics of how this would get done, what are the mechanics of identifying, verifying, securing and ultimately destroying the chemical weapons," said Psaki.
The amount of work could be daunting, as Syria is estimated to possess large stockpiles of chemical weapons. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that the process "obviously will take some time."
MOSCOW, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Russia had evidence that the Syrian opposition possessed and used chemical weapons, a lawmaker said on Wednesday.
"There are reasons to presume that not only the Syrian government but also the militants possess chemical weapons," said Alexei Pushkov, head of the International Affairs Committee of the State Duma, or lower house of the parliament. Full story
WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday evening embraced the Russian proposal to put Syrian chemical weapons under international control, opting for a way out of the bind he found himself in after his push for Congressional authorization of a military strike yielded little result.
The sharp turn from military action to multilateral diplomacy signifies the changing times in which Americans are ready to look inward. Full story
WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama has asked Congress to delay the vote on the resolution authorizing military attack against Syria, in order to give diplomatic process more time to work, media reports quoted senators as saying Tuesday.
Obama's request came during a lunch meeting with Democrats at Capitol Hill. A Senate vote on the military action against Syria " would be delayed until next week, at the earliest," Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin was quoted by Politico as saying after the president's meeting with Senate Democrats. Full story
JERUSALEM, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- A Russian proposal for Syria to hand over control of its chemical weapons to international supervisers may avert an almost certain American attack on Syria.
U.S. President Barack Obama stated last month that the United States would punish the Syrian government over its alleged use of chemical weapons on Aug. 21, and initiated a buildup of American forces in the region.Full story