WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry says Syria must do more than just declare its chemical weapons stockpiles and sign the international treaty that bans them if it wants a Russian-led effort to avert US military strikes to work.
Just minutes after Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime announced Tuesday that it would take those steps, Kerry said he hoped that it would ‘‘go further’’ in the interests of peace. He said the Syrian government must ‘‘live up to what they said just said they would do’’ and then cooperate with Russia ‘‘to work out a formula by which those weapons could be transferred to international control and destroyed.’’
Kerry also said that Russian suggestions that the UN endorsement come in the form of a non-binding statement from the rotating president of the Security Council would be unacceptable to the Obama administration. Kerry said the US has to have ‘‘a full resolution from the Security Council in order to have confidence that this has the force that it has to have.’’ He added that the resolution must have ‘‘consequences if games are played and somebody tries to undermine this.’’
He said the regime should also enter a genuine dialogue with the opposition. Kerry’s comments came during an online Google+ hangout.