U.S. and Russia reach agreement on Syria’s chemical weapons

Secretary of State John Kerry (left) speaks on September 13, 2013 during a press conference with UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi (centre) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the UN headquarters in Geneva. The United States and Russia. An agreement was reached on eliminating Syria's chemical weapons. (AFP Photo/Larry Downing)

Secretary of State John Kerry (left) speaks on September 13, 2013 during a press conference with UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi (centre) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the UN headquarters in Geneva. An agreement was reached on eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons. (AFP Photo/Larry Downing)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov say they have reached an agreement on a framework for securing Syria‘s chemical weapons after the third day of intense negotiations in Geneva.

They say some elements of the deal include a timetable and how Syria must comply — and that if Syria fails, they will seek a Security Council resolution that could authorize military action.

At a news conference Saturday, Kerry said the pair and their teams of experts had reached “a shared assessment” of the existing stockpile and that Syria must destroy all of its weapons.

Kerry said “we have committed to a standard that says, verify and verify.”

The negotiations between the United States and Russia on securing Syria’s chemical weapons also are considered key to a resumption of peace talks to end the 2 ½-year Syrian civil war.

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