US reacts cautiously to Syria's claim that it ratified treaty banning chemical arms

By REUTERS
September 13, 2013 04:06



The United States reacted cautiously to Syria's announcement that it had adopted an international treaty banning the use of chemical weapons.




Erin Pelton, spokeswoman for the US mission to the United Nations, said Syria's declared intention to join the Chemical Weapons Convention was just a first step.




"This long overdue step does not address the pressing and immediate need for a mechanism to identify, verify, secure and ultimately destroy Assad's chemical weapons stockpile so they can never again be used," Pelton said. "It also does not include immediate consequences for non-compliance."




"The international community must insist on immediate progress toward destruction of Syria's CW (chemical weapons) program and also make clear that there will be consequences for any Syrian noncompliance," she said.




Pelton added that the United States would "continue our ongoing discussions with the Russians and key international partners to urgently respond to the Assad regime's blatant disregard for international norms."



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