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US praises `Syria compliance` with chemical plan, Kerry credits Assad

Last Updated: Monday, October 7, 2013 - 17:15

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Bali: Hailing the process of Syria chemical arms disarmament as a "good beginning", US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday praised Syria for complying with the plan and credited the Assad regime for the commitment so far.

Nice words from Kerry for Assad regime came just a day after the international inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations began the tough task of dismantling Syria`s 1000-ton chemical weapons arsenal while the country is in the midst of a civil war.

John Kerry, who is in Indonesia for the APEC Summit, appreciated the Syria regime for abiding by the chemical destruction plan on time.

"I think it`s a credit to the Assad regime, frankly. It`s a good beginning and we welcome a good beginning," Kerry said.

Kerry, who met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of APEC Summit in Indonesia, also hailed Russian cooperation for the timely implementation of the chemical arms plan.

"The process has begun in record time and we are appreciative for the Russian cooperation and obviously for the Syrian compliance," Kerry told reporters.

Lavrov also reiterated that Russia will do ensure that Syrian government cooperates with the chemical inspectors.

Kerry and Lavrov also agreed to meet UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, to schedule a day in November for Syria peace talks in Geneva.

The UN-Arab League envoy Brahimi on the other hand, repeated his call for both rival parties in Syria to come to the negotiating table "without preconditions."

In a recent interview in German magazine Der Spiegel, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad refused to negotiate with rebels until they laid down their arms.

Even the rebels are opposed to holding talks with the regime unless Assad stepped down.

In what constitutes the first phase of the disarmament, the international experts destroyed missile warheads, aerial bombs and chemical mixing equipment on Sunday on the first day, the UN said.

The first phase of the chemical disarmament process involves destroying capability of Syria to produce chemical weapons by November 1.

The Syria chemical arms plan is being implemented just a week after a resolution was passed in the UN which demands Syrian regime to comply with the plan and allow the experts access to all chemical arms storage site.

First Published: Monday, October 7, 2013 - 12:09

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