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Kerry, Lavrov Hold Constructive Meeting on Syria

(New York) Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, seen here at U.N. Headquarters, held a “very constructive” 90-minute meeting about a proposed U.N. Security Council resolution to hold the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad accountable for its chemical weapons stockpile, senior U.S. officials say.

“The only subject of the meeting was Syria. [They were] both working on the steps to implement the framework,” a senior State Department official said at a background briefing September 24 following the one-on-one meeting. Kerry and Lavrov met earlier in Geneva to hammer out an agreement that would require the Syrian regime to turn over its massive chemical weapons stockpile for destruction. President Obama has warned Syria that the United States would respond militarily if Syria does not respond to the U.S.-Russian framework. The plan followed an August 21 Syrian chemical attack that killed nearly 1,500 civilians east of Damascus.

The United States wants a binding, enforceable and verifiable arms control regime supported by a strong U.N. Security Council resolution, the senior officials told journalists. However, some additional “key conceptual hurdles” have to be resolved before going forward with a resolution, one official said, and are being worked out between U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power and Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin.


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