Published : 2013-09-26 21:00
Updated : 2013-09-26 21:00
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) ― The world’s major powers made important progress Wednesday on key points of a U.N. Security Council resolution on destroying Syria’s chemical weapons, envoys said.
But more talks between U.S. and Russian negotiators will be needed before there is a suggestion of sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad over his chemical arsenal, officials from the two sides said.
One U.N. diplomat said there was agreement on the “main points” of a draft resolution, noting the 15-member council could vote on a resolution that would allow for a new vote on sanctions under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter if Assad fails to honor a Russian-U.S. disarmament plan.
Without denying the account, a senior State Department official cautioned to AFP: “We’re making progress but we’re not done yet.”
Russian sources also denied a deal had been done. “There are still some talks to be completed on some main points,” one Russian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.
Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted a Russian official who expressed “surprise” at the claims of allowing sanctions.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed a disarmament plan with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva earlier this month to head off a U.S. threat of a military strike over a chemical weapons attack near Damascus on Aug. 21.