In a major diplomatic breakthrough, the US and Russia have agreed on a draft UNSC resolution on destroying Syria's chemical weapons, breaking a two-and-a-half year deadlock over the vexed issue.
The UN Security Council will now meet to discuss a draft resolution that will impose "legally binding obligations" on Syria to eliminate its chemical weapons and threatens the war-torn nation with "consequences for non-compliance."
The breakthrough came after the US and Russia, long divided over whether to use threat of military force against President Bashar Al Assad's government if it fails to give up its chemical weapons, reached an agreement regarding the resolution.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said here that he was "pleased to have a meeting with (Russian) Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and we did reach agreement with respect to the resolution."
"We're now doing the final work of pulling that language together, but its our hope that that process between the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations and its resolution can now move forward and give life, hopefully, to the removal and destruction of chemical weapons from Syria," Kerry said.
Kerry expressed hope that the Security Council "will pass a resolution that will make binding and enforceable the removal of the chemical weapons."
The 15-nation Council met late last night to discuss the draft resolution that will "uphold this international norm" by imposing legally binding obligations on the Syrian government to eliminate its chemical weapons programme.
"This resolution will require the destruction of a category of weapons that the Syrian government has used ruthlessly and repeatedly against its own people. And this resolution will make clear that there are going to be consequences for noncompliance," US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power told reporters after the Security Council consultations on Syria.
Power said the draft resolution is the "outcome of intense diplomacy and negotiations" over the past two weeks.
"Our overarching goal was and remains the rapid and total elimination of Syria's chemical weapons programme. This is a class of weapons that the world has already judged must be banned because their use is simply too horrific. This is a fundamental belief shared by the United States, all members of the Security Council and 98 per cent of the world," she added.
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