Israel hopes for ‘complete destruction’ of Syria chemical arsenal

Netanyahu said on Wednesday Syria must be stripped of its chemical weapons. (File photo: Reuters)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that his country hoped that a U.S.-Russian deal to remove Syria’s chemical weapons would result in the “complete destruction” of the arsenal.

“We hope the understandings reached between the United States and Russia regarding the Syrian chemical weapons will yield results,” said Netanyahu in a speech at a memorial ceremony for Israeli soldiers killed in the 1973 Middle East conflict, according to Reuters.

“These understandings will be judged by their result - the complete destruction of all of the chemical weapons stockpiles that the Syrian regime has used against its own people,” he added.

A day after sealing a deal with Russia on eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Israel on Sunday for talks with Netanyahu focused on Syria and a Palestinian peace process, according to AFP.

Last week, Kerry met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Secretary of State has said that he wanted to see both Netanyahu and Abbas before the annual United Nations General Assembly session that they are all expected to attend later this month.

U.S.-Russian agreement

The U.S.-Russian agreement was reached in Geneva on Saturday after three days of talks between Kerry and Russia's Sergei Lavrov.

The deal intends to bring Syria's chemical weapons under international control by the middle of next year and leaves the door open to sanctions if Damascus fails to comply, but does not specify what they would be.

Assad has a week to hand over details of his regime's stockpile of chemical weapons and Kerry said he must provide “immediate and unfettered” access to chemical weapons inspectors, according to Agence France-Presse.

(With Reuters and AFP)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:40 - GMT 06:40
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