Progress has been made between the United States and Russia toward the goal of moving Syria's chemical weapons under international control so that they may ultimately be destroyed.
"This framework," said President Barack Obama in a written statement, "provides the opportunity for the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons in a transparent, expeditious, and verifiable manner, which could end the threat these weapons pose not only to the Syrian people but to the region and the world. The international community expects the Assad regime to live up to its public commitments."
"If diplomacy fails, the United States remains prepared to act."
The United States and Russia have agreed to work together towards the adoption of a United Nations Security Council resolution that augments the important role played by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in this effort and lays out steps to ensure the expeditious destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons program and stringent verification thereof.
The Security Council resolution should provide for review on a regular basis the implementation of the framework and in the event of non-compliance, including unauthorized transfer, or any use of chemical weapons by anyone in Syria, the U.N. Security Council should impose measures under Chapter VII.
The United States will continue working with Russia, Great Britain, France, the United Nations and others to ensure an expedient, transparent, and verifiable process for eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons program. "And, if diplomacy fails," said President Obama, "the United States remains prepared to act."
As President Obama stated, “Following the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons to kill more than 1,000 men, women, and children on August 21, I decided that the United States must take action to deter the Syrian regime from using chemical weapons, degrade their ability to use them, and make clear to the world that we will not tolerate their use. In part because of the credible threat of U.S. military force, we now have the opportunity to achieve our objectives through diplomacy.”
The use of chemical weapons anywhere in the world is an affront to human dignity and a threat to the security of people everywhere. "We have a duty to preserve a world free from the fear of chemical weapons for our children," said President Obama. This agreement marks an important step towards ridding the world of this dangerous class of weapons.