U.S. & Russia agree on plan for Syria's chemical weapons - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

U.S. & Russia agree on plan for Syria's chemical weapons

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GENEVA (AP) -- Marathon negotiations between the U.S. and Russia have produced an agreement on securing and destroying Syria's chemical weapons stockpile.

The diplomatic breakthrough averts the threat of U.S. military action for the moment, but it will require one of the most ambitious arms-control efforts in history. It involves making an inventory and seizing all components of Syria's chemical weapons program, and imposing penalties if the Syrian government fails to comply will the terms.
 
The U.S. and Russia are giving Syria just one week, until Sept. 21, to submit "a comprehensive listing" of all its chemical weapons and where they are kept.
 
International inspectors are to be on the ground in Syria by November. During that month, they are to complete their initial assessment and all mixing and filling equipment for chemical weapons is to be destroyed. They are to be given "immediate and unfettered" access to inspect all sites.
 
All components of the chemical weapons program are to be removed from the country or destroyed by mid-2014.
 
If Syria fails to comply, it would face punitive action by the U.N. Security Council.

Two Republican senators who have sharply criticized President Obama's foreign policy say the agreement is meaningless.

Arizona's John McCain and South Carolina's Lindsey Graham say friends and enemies of the U.S. will view the deal as "an act of provocative weakness" by America.

They argue that the agreement will embolden Iran as it continues its push for a nuclear weapon. The senators say Syrian President Bashar Assad will just use the time the agreement gives him to delay and deceive the world.

Further, McCain and Graham argue that the agreement doesn't resolve the underlying civil war that has caused the deaths of more than 100,000 people and turned millions of Syrians into refugees.
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