Russia gives U.S. Syrian chemical weapons plan

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Russian officials have given the United States a plan to put Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal under international control, ahead of a key meeting between Moscow and Washington’s top diplomats in Geneva, Russian media reported on Wednesday.

“We handed over to the Americans a plan to place chemical weapons in Syria under international control. We expect to discuss it in Geneva,” Russian news agencies quoted a source in the Russian delegation to the talks as saying.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are preparing to discuss on Thursday a Russian plan to collect and destroy Syrian chemical weapons, AFP news agency reported.

Syria said on Tuesday it was ready to unveil and cease the production of chemical weapons.

U.S. President Barack Obama asked Congress on Tuesday to delay the vote on whether the United States should intervene militarily, vowing to give long-shot diplomacy a chance.

An initial French draft U.N. Security Council resolution would demand that Syria make a complete declaration of its chemical weapons program within 15 days and immediately open all related sites to U.N. inspectors or face possible punitive measures, Reuters reported.
Collective failure

U.N. leader Ban Ki-moon said there has been a “collective failure” to protect Syria’s population as he again urged the U.N. Security Council to act on the war.

“Our collective failure to prevent atrocity crimes in Syria of the past two-and-a-half years will remain a heavy burden on the standing of the United Nations and its member states,” Ban told a U.N. meeting on preventing genocide AFP news agency reported.

ICRC President Peter Maurer said both sides in the Syrian conflict are refusing access for medical assistance to sick and wounded. He called on the U.S. and Russia to address improving access for aid workers in Syria at their talks on Thursday, Reuters reported.