The chief diplomat of the United States, John Kerry, recognized that his bluff about Assad handing over his chemical weapons was a strategic error and has now said that ” the words ” of the regime of Bashar al-Assad over his willingness to give up its chemical weapons are “not enough” and that he hopes to work with Russia to make this really happen.
Kerry and the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, made statements prior to the start of a bilateral meeting to discuss Moscow’s proposal to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international supervision.
On the request of the Government of Syria to join the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Kerry said that Damascus cannot claim it will abide by “a standard process due to the way the regime has behaved, denying the existence of these weapons.”
Kerry added that he has come to Geneva to “together with Russia, test the will of the Syrian regime to fulfill its promises” and emphasized that although the U.S. is committed to the path of negotiations, the US government will keep open the military option as a means of pressure the Syrian regime.
” Only the credible threat of force has led the regime to recognize for the first time that it possesses an arsenal of chemical weapons and that they are willing to give it up,” said the U.S. Secretary of State. Meanwhile, the Syrian President has said that he will not hand over the chemicals weapons as long as the US maintains its threat of military aggression.
Without giving the details about the Russian proposal, Kerry considered it the best alternative to remove all chemical weapons in Syria, and to determine, “the real capacity to keep them under international control and destroy them forever. “
Kerry said this is a historic moment in the efforts against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, “if it helps save lives and reduce threats to the region.”
To do so, Kerry said the plan to be discussed from now on with Lavrov to end chemical weapons in Syria ” has to be real, comprehensive, verifiable, credible, timely and able to be implemented in an appropriate period .”
He emphasized , “there must be consequences” if the regime of Bashar al-Assad fails to meet its commitments .With this comment and the US negative to take military aggression off the table, Kerry made it clear that war may be closer than anyone can think, if the US is not satisfied with the negotiations.
“The expectations are high for us and probably also for Russia,” said Kerry. The US representative understands that the American handling of the Syrian issue was awful at best and he intends to save face publicly, while in private the US yields the leadership role to Russia.
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Contributed by Luis Miranda of The Real Agenda.
Luis R. Miranda is the Founder and Editor of The Real Agenda. His 16 years of experience in Journalism include television, radio, print and Internet news. Luis obtained his Journalism degree from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, where he graduated in Mass Media Communication in 1998. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Among his most distinguished interviews are: Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres and James Hansen from NASA Space Goddard Institute.