Secretary Of State John Kerry To See Russian Foreign Minister In Geneva
WASHINGTON (AP) — A State Department official says President Barack Obama is sending Secretary of State John Kerry to Switzerland this week to discuss a possible deal on Syria's chemical weapons with Russia's foreign minister.
The official said Kerry would meet with Sergey Lavrov in Geneva on Thursday to try to reach a deal on a U.N. Security Council resolution that would require Syria to give up its chemical weapons or face consequences.
The official was not authorized to discuss the mission publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The last-minute trip reflects a flurry of developments that have occurred since Russia said Monday it would push Syriato get rid of its chemical weapons stockpiles and Syria agreed.
Meanwhile, Kerry says Syriamust do more than just declare its chemical weapons stockpiles and sign the international treaty that bans them if it wants a Russian-led effort to avert U.S. military strikes to work.
Just minutes after Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime announced Tuesday that it would take those steps, Kerry said he hoped that it would "go further" in the interests of peace. He said the Syrian government must "live up to what they said just said they would do" and then cooperate with Russia "to work out a formula by which those weapons could be transferred to international control and destroyed."
He said the regime should also enter a genuine dialogue with the opposition. Kerry's comments came during an online Google+ hangout.