Kerry Looking to Nail Down Syria as Russia Talks Begin
Rebels, meanwhile, despair over lack of strike
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Sep 12, 2013 7:52 AM CDT
Updated Sep 12, 2013 7:59 AM CDT
US Secretary of State John Kerry waves as he arrives in Geneva, Switzerland today, to test the seriousness of a Russian proposal to secure Syria's chemical weapons.   (AP Photo/Keystone, Martial Trezzini)

(Newser) – John Kerry arrived in Geneva today for two days of talks with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov over the Syrian disarmament plan they sort of created together. Kerry's top goal, one official tells Reuters, "is to see if there's reality here or not." To do that he'll demand an immediate sign that Syria is serious, in the form of a complete, public disclosure of all of its chemical weapons stockpiles. Beyond that, the two hope to hammer out the details of a UN Security Council resolution.

But the two are light-years apart on those details, the New York Times reports. The US wants the resolution to automatically authorize a military strike if Assad fails to make good, while Russia wants a far weaker non-binding resolution—and a promise from the US not to use force. The talks, meanwhile, are being met with despair by Syrian rebels. "The Russian initiative is just a lie," the Free Syrian Army's top general tells NPR. Syrians "can't understand why … our friends are delaying."

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Showing 3 of 23 comments
Sep 13, 2013 1:19 PM CDT
someone should "nail down" kerry now!
Sep 12, 2013 1:34 PM CDT
Obama's getting the ruskies to clean up the Syrian mess without firing a shot. If only dumbya were half as smart, 4,400+ American families might not have had to bury their children killed in Iraq for Halliburton.
Sep 12, 2013 11:11 AM CDT
If Obama accepts the chemical weapon proposal, then within months, the U.S. will have boots on the ground in Syria fighting on the side of Assad. Assad will agree to everything, he will tell the world how much he has and where the chemicals are. He will even sign the weapons ban agreement. Then Assad will say he can't afford to use his army to protect weapons that useless to him. that he needs the troops to keep him in power because if Assad is not in power the agreement is null and void. So the U.N., Russia, U.S., and other countries will send troops to secure the Weapons. Some Rebel group will try to acquire Chemicals before they are destroyed. A firefight will ensue. The U.N. will be fighting the Rebels, the enemy of Assad.