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France says Syrian moves on chemical arms `insufficient`

Last Updated: Saturday, September 14, 2013 - 00:19

Paris: France on Friday said that the Syrian regime`s announcement that it had joined a ban on chemical weapons was not enough and called for a binding UN Security Council resolution.
"The Syrian regime`s announcements are certainly very useful but also certainly insufficient," French foreign ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot said, as Washington and Moscow met in Geneva for talks on dismantling Syria`s chemical arsenal.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad confirmed for the first time yesterday that Syria planned to relinquish its chemical arms under a Russian plan aimed at averting US-led military action against his regime.

As a first step, Syria yesterday filed documents at the United Nations seeking to join the international convention banning chemical weapons.

But Lalliot said that for France -- Washington`s main backer in launching military strikes -- that wasn`t good enough.

"We cannot remain with only a statement of intent from the Syrian regime. It must make commitments and these must be fixed, controlled, verified and verifiable," he said.

"There needs to be a (UN Security Council) resolution, because by its very nature that`s a binding text," Lalliot said. "Any other text within the Council is insufficient."

AFP



First Published: Saturday, September 14, 2013 - 00:19

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