Washington, Sep 28: US President Barack Obama Friday said the upcoming UN resolution on Syria’s chemical weapons is “potentially a significant step forward”.
“This is something that we have long sought,” Obama said after a bilateral meeting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the White House.
“We now have a framework… that would be legally binding, that would be verifiable and enforceable, where there will be consequences for Syria’s failure to meet what has been set forth in this resolution, I think is a potentially huge victory for the international community,” reported Xinhua citing Obama.
A draft resolution legally obligating Syria to give up its chemical stockpiles is expected to be put to a vote at the 15- nation UN Security Council late Friday.
Obama thanked international partners for working in the past days in the UN for reaching the resolution to rid Syria of its stockpiles of chemical weapons. “I’ve always expressed a preference for resolving this diplomatically,” he added.
The US president claimed this was possible because of what he said “a credible threat of US action” against Syria after the alleged Aug 21 chemical attack near Damascus, the capital of Syria.
He noted that the resolution explicitly endorses the agreement by the Geneva international conference on Syria, to deal with the civil war in Syria, and the need for a political transition to bring about peace to this war-torn country.
“So we are very hopeful about the prospects for what can be accomplished, but obviously there is a lot of work to be done,” the US president said.
He expressed the concerns whether Syria will honour its commitment to give up its chemical weapons, as well as the technical difficulties in destroying those weapons in this country where fighting is continuing on the ground.
The US government held the Syrian government accountable for the Aug 21 chemical attack which allegedly killed more than 1,400 people, a claim denied by Damascus.