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US,Russia At Odds As Syria Talks Continue [VIDEO]

As the U.S. and Russia follow up an apparently contentious opening round of talks, their top diplomats will search for agreement on the nuts and bolts that go into a Russian proposal for securing Syria’s chemical weapons stocks.

Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attend a press conference
Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attend a press conference (Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are being joined at the talks in Geneva by chemical weapons experts from their countries. The diplomats are expected to meet again Friday to go over the mechanics, details and timing of the plan for the weapons to be inventoried, quarantined and destroyed.

When the talks began Thursday, Kerry bluntly rejected a Syrian pledge to begin a “standard process” by turning over information rather than weapons — and nothing immediately.

The American diplomat says that words alone are not acceptable.

Putin hails Syria’s action on chemical weapons ban

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) — Russia’s President Vladimir Putin says that Syria’s move to join an international convention banning chemical weapons has proven its good faith.

Speaking at a summit of an international security grouping dominated by Russia and China, Putin said Friday the move showed that Syria has “serious intentions to embark on that path.”

Syria made a formal bid Thursday to join the Chemical Weapons Convention. The U.N. welcomed the move, but said that it could take 30 days for Syria to become a member.

Russia proposed on Monday that Syria surrenders control over its chemical weapons to the international community for its eventual dismantling to avoid a U.S. military strike, and Damascus quickly jumped at the offer. Top U.S. and Russian diplomats are holding talks in Geneva to discuss the plan’s specifics.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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