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Framework for Syrian Chemical Weapons Surrender Reached [Full Text]

Framework agreed upon >>> U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry takes a walk with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov after the two finalized an agreement related to ridding Syria of chemical weapons during an impromptu poolside negotiating session in Geneva, Switzerland, on September 14, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Framework agreed upon >>> U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry takes a walk with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov after the two finalized an agreement related to ridding Syria of chemical weapons during an impromptu poolside negotiating session in Geneva, Switzerland, on September 14, 2013.
[State Department photo/ Public Domain]

The United States and Russia agreed Saturday on an outline for the identification and seizure of Syrian chemical weapons and said Syria must turn over an accounting of its arsenal within a week. The agreement will be backed by a U.N. Security Council resolution that could allow for sanctions or other consequences if Syria fails to comply, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said. [Washington Post]

THE FRAMEWORK agreed upon through negotiations between Secretary John Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was announced on Saturday and can be read in full below [emphasis added].

Obama’s military prerogatives stay in play, but according to reporting from the Washington Post, because of objectives being raised by the Russians, the use-of-force provision has been nixed and the the document now reads, “Syria’s compliance . . . and, if Syria does not comply fully, to impose further measures.” Those “further measures” are left to the imagination and to be defined later. The framework still includes referring “Syrian authorities,” as the Post euphemistically and carefully puts it, to the International Criminal Court, however, that could be softened going forward as well, though it would be a mistake of epic proportions to renege on this element.

It’s tough negotiating the worst weapons on planet earth out of existence. Compromise becomes a dirty deal, as well as a way to getting it done. But successful diplomacy and progress between adversaries requires everyone be happy with the final agreements and framework for them to hold, so pragmatism rules.

So, as media outlets blast that there is “a deal,” caution should also be applied, because this is a framework that extends into 2014 and will likely meet many challenges and road blocks.

Bashar al Assad stays in power, with Obama’s goal never regime change from the outside. Helping it happen from the inside is another story and has escalated this week, necessity being the motherf&*!er of foreign policy intervention, with the full blessing of the Obama administration.

If you can balance all of these components in your head at the same time, while putting hyper partisan preferences and your cynicism aside, congratulations! You have the broader intelligence required to understand the dichotomies, devil in the details, and dilemmas presented by all foreign policy confrontations.

Framework for Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 14, 2013

Taking into account the decision of the Syrian Arab Republic to accede to the Chemical Weapons Convention and the commitment of the Syrian authorities to provisionally apply the Convention prior to its entry into force, the United States and the Russian Federation express their joint determination to ensure the destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons program (CW) in the soonest and safest manner.

For this purpose, the United States and the Russian Federation have committed to prepare and submit in the next few days to the Executive Council of the OPCW a draft decision setting down special procedures for expeditious destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons program and stringent verification thereof. The principles on which this decision should be based, in the view of both sides, are set forth in Annex A. The United States and the Russian Federation believe that these extraordinary procedures are necessitated by the prior use of these weapons in Syria and the volatility of the Syrian civil war.

The United States and the Russian Federation commit to work together towards prompt adoption of a UN Security Council resolution that reinforces the decision of the OPCW Executive Council. This resolution will also contain steps to ensure its verification and effective implementation and will request that the UN Secretary-General, in consultation with the OPCW, submit recommendations to the UN Security Council on an expedited basis regarding the UN’s role in eliminating the Syrian chemical weapons program.

The United States and the Russian Federation concur that this UN Security Council resolution should provide for review on a regular basis the implementation in Syria of the decision of the Executive Council of the OPCW, and in the event of non-compliance, including unauthorized transfer, or any use of chemical weapons by anyone in Syria, the UN Security Council should impose measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

The proposed joint US-Russian OPCW draft decision supports the application of Article VIII of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which provides for the referral of any cases of non-compliance to the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Security Council.

In furtherance of the objective to eliminate the Syrian chemical weapons program, the United States and the Russian Federation have reached a shared assessment of the amount and type of chemical weapons involved, and are committed to the immediate international control over chemical weapons and their components in Syria. The United States and the Russian Federation expect Syria to submit, within a week, a comprehensive listing, including names, types, and quantities of its chemical weapons agents, types of munitions, and location and form of storage, production, and research and development facilities.

We further determined that the most effective control of these weapons may be achieved by removal of the largest amounts of weapons feasible, under OPCW supervision, and their destruction outside of Syria, if possible. We set ambitious goals for the removal and destruction of all categories of CW related materials and equipment with the objective of completing such removal and destruction in the first half of 2014. In addition to chemical weapons, stocks of chemical weapons agents, their precursors, specialized CW equipment, and CW munitions themselves, the elimination process must include the facilities for the development and production of these weapons. The views of both sides in this regard are set forth in Annex B.

The United States and the Russian Federation have further decided that to achieve accountability for their chemical weapons, the Syrians must provide the OPCW, the UN, and other supporting personnel with the immediate and unfettered right to inspect any and all sites in Syria. The extraordinary procedures to be proposed by the United States and the Russian Federation for adoption by the OPCW Executive Council and reinforced by a UN Security Council resolution, as described above, should include a mechanism to ensure this right.

Under this framework, personnel under both the OPCW and UN mandate should be dispatched as rapidly as possible to support control, removal, and destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities.

The United States and the Russian Federation believe that the work of the OPCW and the UN will benefit from participation of the experts of the P5 countries.

The United States and the Russian Federation strongly reiterate their position on Syria as reflected in the Final Communique of the G-8 Summit in Northern Ireland in June 2013, especially as regards chemical weapons.

The two sides intend to work closely together, and with the OPCW, the UN, all Syrian parties, and with other interested member states with relevant capabilities to arrange for the security of the monitoring and destruction mission, recognizing the primary responsibility of the Syrian Government in this regard.

The United States and the Russian Federation note that there are details in furtherance of the execution of this framework that need to be addressed on an expedited basis in the coming days and commit to complete these details, as soon as practicable, understanding that time is of the essence given the crisis in Syria.

Annex A
Principles for Decision Document by OPCW Executive Council

1. The decision should be based on para 8. Art. IV and para. 10 of Art V of the CWC.

2. The decision should address the extraordinary character of the situation with the Syrian chemical weapons.

3. The decision should take into account the deposit by Syria of the instrument of accession to the CWC.

4. The decision should provide for the easy accessibility for States Parties of the information submitted by Syria.

5. The decision should specify which initial information Syria shall submit to the OPCW Technical Secretariat in accordance with a tightly fixed schedule and also specifies an early date for submission of the formal CWC declaration.

6. The decision should oblige Syria to cooperate fully on all aspects of its implementation.

7. The decision should address a schedule for the rapid destruction of Syrian chemical weapons capabilities. This schedule should take into account the following target dates:

A. Completion of initial OPCW on-site inspections of declared sites by November.

B. Destruction of production and mixing/filling equipment by November.

C. Complete elimination of all chemical weapons material and equipment in the first half of 2014.

The shortest possible final deadline, as well as intermediate deadlines, for the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons capabilities should be included into the schedule.

8. The decision should provide stringent special verification measures, beginning within a few days, including a mechanism to ensure the immediate and unfettered right to inspect any and all sites.

9. The decision should address the issue of duties of the OPCW Technical Secretariat in this situation and its need for supplementary resources to implement the decision, particularly technical and personnel resources, and call upon states with relevant capacities to contribute to this end.

10. The decision should refer to the provisions of the CWC obliging the Executive Council, in cases of non-compliance with the Convention, to bring the issues directly to the attention of the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council.

Annex B
Joint Framework on Destruction of Syrian CW

The Russian Federation and the United States of America agree on the need to achieve rapid elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons, thus reducing the threat posed to the people of Syria. They are each prepared to devote high-level attention and resources to support the monitoring and destruction mission of the OPCW, both directly and in cooperation with the United Nations and other States concerned. They agree to set an ambitious goal of eliminating the threat in a rapid and effective manner.

Both parties agree that a clear picture of the state of Syrian chemical weapons could help advance a cooperative development of destruction options, including possible removal of chemical weapons outside of the Syrian territory. We agree on the importance of rapid destruction of the following categories:

1. Production equipment

2. Mixing and filling equipment

3. Filled and unfilled weapons and delivery systems

4. Chemical agents (unweaponized) and precursor chemicals. For these materials, they will pursue a hybrid approach, i.e., a combination of removal from Syria and destruction within Syria, depending upon site-specific conditions. They will also consider the possibility of consolidation and destruction in the coastal area of Syria.

5. Material and equipment related to the research and development of chemical weapons

The two parties agree to utilize the “universal matrix”, developed in the course of consultations by our two National Security Councils, as the basis for an actionable plan.

They agree that the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria should be considered an urgent matter to be implemented within the shortest possible time period.

The parties agree to set the following target dates:

A. Completion of initial OPCW on-site inspections by November.

B. Destruction of production and mixing/filling equipment by November.

C. Complete elimination of all chemical weapons material and equipment in the first half of 2014.

The Russian Federation and the United States will work together closely, including with the OPCW, the UN and Syrian parties to arrange for the security of the monitoring and destruction mission, noting the primary responsibility of the Syrian government in this regard.

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23 Responses to Framework for Syrian Chemical Weapons Surrender Reached [Full Text]

  1. Solo September 14, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    It’s going to be a very bad day for the President’s detractors!

  2. secularhumanizinevoluter September 14, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    The level of disconnect from reality or logic has reached birther and 9/11 conspiracy loon levels. It is a thing to behold. hey…maybe someone will post a love song to Assad next?

  3. TPAZ September 14, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    What about the 500 children gassed to death in their sleep? I guess you have to break some eggs to make an omelette.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to their families. http://bit.ly/14VpBdH

    • Sandmann September 14, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

      Thoughts and prayers worked so well for the victims and their families who are likely devout to the Nth degree, right? I’ll take the tangibles instead.

  4. mjsmith September 14, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    I do not know about this. It would be interesting if this really was here idea.

    Saint Cloud Times – http://tinyurl.com/klsd9dg

    COLD SPRING — Hours after the announcement that U.S and Russian officials agreed on a plan to secure and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann said she offered a similar plan to President Barack Obama’s administration in June.

    Bachmann’s comments came Saturday at a meet-and-greet event at Red River Inn Family Dining. As Bachmann had coffee with attendees at the event, U.S. officials announced the agreement on Syria, which Bachmann later said could be a positive development.

    • secularhumanizinevoluter September 16, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

      She took out time from detailing a press release on Obamacare death panels and showing blue prints for the internment camps Obama plans on securing all gun owners in to deliver this gem.

  5. casualobserver September 14, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    Hey, if this is a W for team Obama, far be it from me to interject narrow-mindedness.

    So, if you wish to celebrate going from the goals of regime change to red lines back to regime change to unbelievably small air strikes to asking Assad to point out his stockpiles to the UN in the middle of a civil war ( a seven year task by DOD intelligence estimates) while you add more deadly weapons to the field of battle, go ahead, enjoy the weekend of accomplishment.

    Somewhere in all of this pragmatic accomplishment I lost track of where Assad got punished for using chemical weapons….can someone point that element of the victory out……or are you too busy thinking up snappy one liners devoid of any reference to actual events?

    • jjamele September 15, 2013 at 9:40 am #

      Shut Up! Maybe it looks like Obama wanted to strike Syria but backed down when he realized he would not have Congressional support, but that’s just because you hate Obama! He was playing chess all along!

      And the plan was never to get rid of Assad, or stop the killing, just to stop the use of chemical weapons! Assad can stay in power and do all the killing he wants, but it has to be by American-Approved means! This is a huge victory for Obama! For the people of Syria, not so much. But a HUGE victory for Obama!

      • secularhumanizinevoluter September 15, 2013 at 11:27 am #

        If the people of Syria want Assad gone more power to them. It WAS about Chem weapons. PERIOD. Whether some like it or not.

        • jjamele September 15, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

          Yes, and we’ve always been at war with Eastasia, too.

          For more than a year, Syria was about assisting the rebels and getting Assad out of power. You don’t remember “Assad has got to go?” Did it go down the memory hole?

          Now it’s “Assad can keep slaughtering his people, but he’s agreed to use conventional weapons. Yay us! Victory!”

          Seriously, you keep Victory Gin handy, or do you hit the Chestnut Tree Cafe when you need some?

          • mjsmith September 15, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

            Obama team made it clear, they don’t want Assad to go and they will continue to support the armed fighting against the government.

          • secularhumanizinevoluter September 16, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

            please re-read my comment. Clearly comprehension has gone down YOUR memory hole.

  6. secularhumanizinevoluter September 14, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    “So, if you wish to celebrate going from the goals of regime change to red lines back to regime change to unbelievably small air strikes to asking Assad to point out his stockpiles to the UN in the middle of a civil war ( a seven year task by DOD intelligence estimates) while you add more deadly weapons to the field of battle, go ahead, enjoy the weekend of accomplishment.”

    Seems to me it’s just wingnuts babbling about regime change…a favorite line of theirs.
    Putin and Assad kinda knew the Cruise Missles would be coming in Assad;s front door and bedroom window so they caved.
    I frankly don’t give a rat’s ass about who sits in the Palace in Syria. If the syrian people want to off Assad…more power to them. But if he used chem weapons buhbye. And yes, I celebrate this pretty slick win by Obama. GM is alive…Osama is dead and Assad is giving up his chems…don’t it just make ya wanna cry?
    As for punishing Assad…there isn’t any time limit on that…..just like Bush and his bunch.

  7. jjamele September 15, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    Well, Mr. Assad, we here in the USA hope you have learned your lesson- you can not put down rebellions with chemical weapons. You may massacre your own people, of course, but you must use World-Approved “Conventional” weapons like rocket launchers, automatic rifles, grenades, etc. like good, civilized societies should. Stick to these basics, and we won’t interfere.

    Speaking of Conventional Weapons, we are having a sale this month. Shall I fax you the brochure?

    • jinbaltimore September 15, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

      “Speaking of Conventional Weapons, we are having a sale this month. Shall I fax you the brochure?”

      classic!
      and probably prescient, unfortunately

  8. jjamele September 15, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    Today the people of Syria will probably circulate a petition nominating Obama for another Nobel Peace Prize, safe in the knowledge that when they are murdered by Assad in the next few months, it will be with good old conventional weapons.

    Imagine a psychopath who roams the streets murdering people with knives and guns. The authorities tsk at him and shrug their shoulders while the neighborhoods scream for help. One day the psycho starts using grenades to kill his victims, and the authorities feel compelled to step in- “ok, that’s the last straw. You may NOT use grenades!” The psycho agrees to stop using grenades, and stick to guns and knives.

    The authorities take a deep bow, and supporters of the authorities come here to crow about the wonderful victory achieved. Detractors are accused of being unbalanced, never-satisfied lunatics who can’t admit that they were wrong about the awesome authorities. And in the neighborhoods, the beatings go on.

    • secularhumanizinevoluter September 15, 2013 at 11:34 am #

      Ma GOODNESS but you are on a roll…with mustard. To bad you disapprove of the international rules set up by the Geneva Accords but oh well….you apparently want the United States riding in guns blazing like the lone ranger.

  9. Sandmann September 15, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    I don’t see an alternate plan from those who are claiming that the ongoing diplomatic efforts are a just a cop-out.

    • secularhumanizinevoluter September 15, 2013 at 11:40 am #

      Now come ON!!! You are expecting more then whinning and moaning?

    • ladywalker68 September 15, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

      Sandmann. Precisely. On the other hand, the useless House Republicans are holding their 42nd vote to repeal Obamacare.

      They are like a scratched DVD that is stuck on one spot and can’t get past it.

      There is no defense for the impotent do-nothing obstructionist Republicans. The country wouldn’t be any worse off if they stayed on permanent vacation. The illusion of actually working is alive and well and living with the House and Senate Republicans.

      At least Obama is doing something. He might not be perfect, but he at least is trying to do his job. And if you try to tag me as an Obama apologist, then you haven’t been paying attention.

  10. casualobserver September 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    The “alternative plan”, already supported by the majority of the electorate and not wavering, is to not jump into the constant and likely never to be resolved sectarian strifes posing no demonstrable threat to the US.

    Bullsh@t Obama did not want regime change……read his own words on several occasions.

    If you want to debate policy, stick with the policy articulated by the Executive branch…..yours does not matter to serious people.

    • secularhumanizinevoluter September 15, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

      1.”The “alternative plan”, already supported by the majority of the electorate and not wavering, is to not jump into the constant and likely never to be resolved sectarian strifes posing no demonstrable threat to the US.”

      Well first that is NOT an alternate plan and it sure as hell isn’t anything articulated by the republicans OR teabaggers OR Democrats opposed to doing anything about Assad’s use of proscribed weapons. can’t even say nice try there…not even close.

      2.”Bullsh@t Obama did not want regime change……read his own words on several occasions.”

      Nice attempt at changing the subject…actually not really but I am trying to be more polite these days. This was, is and will continue to be about chemical weapons. I don’t care if Obama ‘want regime change” That has zip to do with this.

      3.”If you want to debate policy, stick with the policy articulated by the Executive branch…..yours does not matter to serious people.”

      Yeah….and the policy was is and will continue to be respond to the use of chemical weapons. As far as whether my opinion about anything matters to “serious” people…if that is in referance to yourself…BWAHAHAHAHA!

  11. PeggySue September 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    Well again I agree with lady walker. Obama is nowhere near perfect but he is the only alternative to the Clint Eastwood mentality that the GOP represents. Anyone thinking that Republicans, particularly the Neocon core, are now peaceniks, horrified by the US getting involved in Syria [boots on the ground or not] has been sleeping in a cave for the last dozen years. Does anyone really think McCain or Romney wouldn’t have had the US up to its neck in more ME warfare by now? Romney was being run by the Neocons and McCain is all about regime change in Syria–the Cold Warrior Cometh, again.

    There is a slim chance, admittedly very slim, that slowing this whole thing down, involving the UN could lead to an end to the wholesale killing in Syria. Russia has refused to discuss anything Syrian up until this point. The Iranians are on board for chemical inspections. So we have players [unreliable as they may be] that have not been at the table who now are. It’s a baby step but it’s a start.

    I watched a panel discussion of young Syrians on Aljazerra about ten days ago. They were all over the place in political affiliations but one thing they all agreed on: they want the violence to end, yesterday. Short of a world war, diplomatic wrangling [IMHO] is our only way to get there in the future. What’s going on in Iraq right now should be an object lesson in the shortcomings of military intervention and what it ultimately spawns.

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