United States, China agree on need for binding Syria resolution, says official
Reuters in New York
The United States and China are in strong agreement on the need for the 15-member UN Security Council to quickly adopt a mandatory and binding resolution on eradicating Syria's chemical weapons arsenal, a senior US official said yesterday.
US Secretary of State John Kerry met Foreign Minister Wang Yi for about an hour on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations.
"On Syria, both ministers were in strong agreement on the need for a mandatory and binding UN Security Council resolution," said the US official.
"They discussed the value of unity among the P5 (five permanent members of the Security Council) and both felt it is important for the council to act quickly and for OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) to similarly act quickly," the official said.
Envoys from the United States, Russia, France, China and Britain have come to an agreement on the core of a UN Security Council resolution to get rid of Syria's chemical weapons, three Western diplomats said on Wednesday, but Russia denied such an accord had been reached.
Diplomats from the permanent Security Council members have been haggling over the details of a resolution to back an accord hammered out by Russia and the United States on September 14 to eliminate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons arsenal.
A major sticking point between Russia and Western powers has been whether the resolution is under Chapter 7 of the UN charter, which covers the council's authority to enforce its decisions with measures such as sanctions or military force.
Russia has made clear it would not accept an initial resolution under Chapter 7.