GENEVA, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry started crucial talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Thursday evening on Russia's proposal of putting Syria's chemical weapons under international control.
Kerry said before the meeting that diplomacy is and always has been the U.S. first resort and achieving a peaceful resolution is clearly preferable to military action.
He said the United States considered the words of the Syrian regime are simply not enough, so they come to Geneva in order to work with Russia to make certain that this can be achieved.
"The Russian delegation has put some ideas forward and we are grateful for that and we have prepared our own principles that any plan to accomplish this needs to encompass," he said.
"Expectations are high. They are high for the United States, perhaps even more so for Russia to deliver on the promise of this moment," said Kerry.
He reiterated that "this is not a game", and it has to be real, comprehensive, verifiable, credible, and has to be implemented in a timely fashion.
"Finally, there ought to be consequences if it doesn't take place," he said.
Lavrov said that "we should get down to a very serious work."
"The development of the events gives us an additional opportunity for Geneva 2," he said.
The meeting was scheduled for Thursday and Friday, but it's possible for it to extend to Saturday.
MOSCOW, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Syria will not fulfill agreement on chemical weapons control until the U.S. stops threatening it, President Bashar al-Assad said Thursday.
Only when Washington proves to Damascus its sincere intention of securing stability in the Middle East, stops making threats against Syria, and suspends arming terrorists, then will it consider completing necessary processes which are feasible and acceptable for Syria, Assad said in an interview with Russian news channel Rossiya 24. Full story
BEIJING, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov meet in Geneva Thursday to discuss matters concerning Syria's chemical weapons.
The dynamics of the Syria crisis took a positive turn this week, with concerned parties accepting a Russian proposal that Damascus place its chemical weapons arsenal under international control. Full story
WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- The New York Times on Wednesday evening published an op-ed piece on its website by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who argued for caution in the Syrian chemical weapons crisis, while urging the U.S. to work through the mechanism of the United Nations for a peaceful resolution to the issue. Full story
BEIJING, Sept.12 (Xinhua) -- More countries are responding positively to a Russian initiative to put Syria's chemical weapon stockpiles under international control to avert a possible U.S. strike on the Arab country.
"Iraq welcomes the Russian initiative that calls on the Syrian government to hand over their stockpiles of chemical weapons for international supervision and control as an international measure of disarmament," an Iraqi Foreign Ministry statement said Wednesday. Full story
UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council met here on Wednesday to discuss Syria's chemical weapons crisis, but no deal was reached, diplomatic sources said.
Each member set out their position, with Russia blocking the move to mount pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. 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