Kerry says Syria’s chemical weapons controlled by Assad

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that the control of chemical weapons in Syria was limited to President Bashar al-Assad, his brother Maher and an unnamed general.

Kerry also said that Assad can avoid a possible military strike against his regime if he hands over all his chemical weapons to the international community within next week.

However, the U.S. official said that Assad was not about take such a step.

“Sure, he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week - turn it over, all of it without delay and allow the full and total accounting (of it) but he isn’t about to do it and it can’t be done,” Kerry said during a London-based news conference.

Kerry also said the solution to the Syrian conflict must be political not military but that the international community could not stand by while the Assad regime used chemical weapons.

“Let me be clear, the United States, President Obama, myself, others are in full agreement that the end of the conflict in Syria requires a political solution. There is no military solution, we have no illusions about that,” he said after talks with British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

He also stressed the relationship between Britain and the United States was as strong as ever despite the British parliament having decided not to join military action against Syria.

Speaking after talks Kerry, Hague told a news conference: “They have the full diplomatic support of the United Kingdom” adding that Britain would be “working closely with our closest ally” on Syria.

(With Reuters and AFP)

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