Kerry wants chemical arms shipped out of Syria

A U.N. chemical weapons expert, wearing a gas mask, holds a plastic bag containing samples from one of the sites of an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Ain Tarma neighborhood of Damascus. (File photo: Reuters)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday that he hopes the Syrian government’s chemical weapons arsenal will be rapidly consolidated and removed from the region, reported the Associated Press.

In an interview with National Public Radio Kerry said that the locations of the weapons have been declared and are being secured. He added that he will meet with the Syrian opposition on Tuesday in London.

Kerry will meet in London with ministers from 10 other nations who support the opposition in Syria and are trying to hold an international conference in Geneva to set up a transition government and end the conflict in Syria, U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

The main alliance of political opposition groups has said it will only be prepared to negotiate if it is agreed from the start that Assad will leave power at the end of a transition period.

In a statement earlier this week, Kerry said that Assad had lost the “legitimacy” necessary to end the conflict.

“There has to be a new governing entity in Syria in order to permit the possibility of peace,” Kerry said on Monday, in a joint press conference with Lakhdar Brahimi, special envoy for the United Nations and the Arab League.

(With the Associated Press)

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:41 - GMT 06:41