BREAKING: Syrian foreign minister says Syria has accepted Russian proposal to surrender control over its chemical weapons.
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 10, 2013
After Secretary of State Kerry made a “rhetorical argument” in which he said Assad had a week to turn over his chemical weapons or face attack, the Russian government responded by offering a proposal to Syria that to avoid attack they put their chemical weapons under international control. Syria has now accepted the Russian proposal.
On Monday, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem stated that his country welcomed the Russian proposal, which called for Syria to place its chemical weapons under international control and for the weapons to be destroyed.
No time frame or further details were given about the proposal. It remained unclear whether Syria was making genuine strides toward a diplomatic resolution to the conflict that began in March 2011, or if the proposal was a ploy by Syrian President Bashar Assad to buy more time in the face of a potential U.S. strike.
So bluff called, if this was all really about chemical weapons then the Obama Administration should be satisfied if this is implemented, right?
In response to the Russian proposal France has decided to bring a formal proposal to the United Nations Security Council.
France will submit a resolution to the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday aimed at dismantling Syria’s chemical-weapon arsenal, seizing on an overture from Russia to head off military strikes against the regime of Bashar al-Assad…
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, speaking at a news conference, said the draft resolution would establish “consequences” for the regime if it fails to comply with the proposed program. He didn’t name the consequences, saying “all options remain on the table.”
Whether or not the French proposal goes anywhere is an open question but that diplomacy is finally having its day is good news. Though until President Obama takes military aggression off the table the vote in Congress looms.
But if Syria is essentially willing to comply with Secretary Kerry’s ultimatum can Obama still bomb?