POLITICS: PennAve

Jay Carney: US and partners will 'insist' Syria destroy its weapons

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Politics,White House,John Kerry,National Security,Syria,PennAve,Susan Crabtree,Chemical Weapons,Jay Carney

The White House called on Syria to "immediately" comply with its international agreements to destroy its chemical weapon stockpile, the same day Russia publicly backed Damascus as acting in good faith to eliminate them.

The U.S. and other western allies in recent days have accused Syrian leader Bashar Assad of dragging his heels in taking steps to eliminate his chemical stockpile and move them to a place where they can be shipped out of the country.

“Syria must immediately take the necessary actions to comply with its obligations ... and ensure that the removal effort is conducted with regularity rather than after long intervals,” Carney told reporters at a briefing Friday.

He said the international community is “poised and ready” to destroy the weapons as soon as they have reached the Syrian port of Latakia.

“It is the Assad regime's responsibility to transport the chemicals to Latakia safely to facilitate their removal, and we expect them to meet their obligation to do so,” Carney said.

When reporters asked what consequences Syria would face it it doesn't follow through with its commitments to destroy the weapons, Carney said, “The United States and our partners in this effort will insist that Syria meet its commitments.”

Earlier Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry told a news conference in Berlin that there is “no legitimate reason why that [removal] is not happening now.” U.S. officials said just 4 percent of Syria's declared chemical arsenal has been eliminated.

The stand-off comes as a contentious round of Syrian peace talks ended Friday with little or no progress toward ending the three-year civil war that has killed more than 100,000 people.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, who was representing Assad, would not commit to return for another planned round of discussions scheduled to take place in 10 days.

An earlier version of this story that appeared on WashingtonExaminer.com for approximately 35 minutes contained two paragraphs similar to those appearing in a story published online by Al Jazeera. The paragraphs had been pasted into the story in error. The Washington Examiner regrets the error.

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