Diplomatic effort bogs down over demands for binding UN resolution
BEIRUT (AP) -- A Russian plan under which Syria would turn over its chemical weapons in order to avoid Western missile strikes is hitting some snags.
The plan bogged down today when Moscow rejected U.S. and French demands for a binding U.N. resolution that would include "very severe consequences" for non-compliance.
The proposal would put the chemical weapons of the Bashar Assad regime under international control, before they are eventually destroyed. The initiative appeared to offer a way out of a crisis that raised the prospect of U.S.-led military action against Syria, in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack last month.
But world powers have been haggling over how the plan would be enforced. France and the U.S. are wary of falling into what the French foreign minister calls a "trap." And they're pushing for a U.N. Security Council resolution to verify Syria's disarmament.
The prospect of a deal that could be enforced militarily met with swift opposition from Russia.
Syria's foreign minister, during a visit to Moscow today, said Syria would place its chemical weapons locations in the hands of representatives of Russia, other unspecified countries and the United Nations.