Friday, September 13, 2013

UN Special Envoy to Join US-Russia Talks

Lakhdar Brahimi,the former Algerian foreign minister who is now UN and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria,will join the second day of talks between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva,Switzerland.Mr.Brahimi is an expert in mediation and peacekeeping operations and serves as a Special Adviser to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
Kerry and Lavrov had a dinner meeting Thursday evening to discuss technical details of the Russian proposal to turn over Syrian chemical weapons to international supervision.Syria itself submitted a letter that begins the process of its membership in the chemical weapons convention,which actually entails a series of legal obligations over a period of years,including the destruction of all of their chemical weapons within ten years.There are 189 other member countries of the treaty which has the force of international law.
Kerry told Lavrov we are serious,as you are,about engaging in substantive,meaningful negotiations even as our military maintains its current posture to keep up the pressure on the Assad regime.Expectations are high.They are high for the United States-perhaps even more so for Russia to deliver on the promise of this moment,Mr.Kerry continued.The talks could reportedly extend into Saturday.The two top diplomats had a cordial demeanor in public as the US insists on a definitive,verifiable plan that catalogs,collects and destroys Syrian chemical weapons based on a full accounting with exact locations.
Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said that the threat of military action must be maintained.Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel spoke to some of the US Navy ships in the Eastern Mediterranean,who assured him they remain ready to execute the president's orders.

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