Bashar Assad and Vladimir Putin 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The agreement reached in Geneva on Saturday between the United States and Russia
to remove all chemical weapons from Syria is an amazing
According to the agreement, Syria will submit a full report
of its chemical arsenal within a week, allow international monitoring by
November and full removal by June 2014.
There is no doubt that this
agreement is a huge diplomatic success for Russia and a personal achievement of
President Vladimir Putin.
Putin dared to oppose the US every step of the
way, scuttled its strategy, and took the lead on the Syrian crisis to the
disappointment of US allies in the region.
This was aggravated by the
inaction and indifference of Europe.
If this agreement is fully
implemented it will be the best possible outcome, and will serve as a face saver
for President Barack Obama after the recent indecisiveness and inconsistencies
coming out of Washington regarding Syria. However, the only measure of success
is the full and timely compliance of Syria without any evasions,
procrastinations, or interference by President Bashar Assad.
transparency must be maintained throughout the process, and the UN task force
handling the monitoring and subsequent removal must be capable, serious and
To ensure success, a credible military threat against Assad
should be constantly present. The US Congress should endorse this
The Russian success is even more salient, with Putin maneuvering
Obama into a supporting role – the first time the US has relinquished leadership
since World War II. This US-Russia cooperation may be a model for neutralizing
the Iranian threat, but this will take much more resolve, determination, and
leadership by the United States.
The writer, the founder of The Truth
About Israel, is a former deputy foreign minister and ambassador to the US.