U.S. awaits Russian ideas on securing Syrian chemical weapons: Kerry

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 10, 2013 2:58 PM
U.S. awaits Russian ideas on securing Syrian chemical weapons: Kerry

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is expecting to receive ideas about how to secure Syria's chemical weapons from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday, said Secretary of State John Kerry.

"He is sending those to us. They'll be coming informally in the course of the day. We'll have an opportunity to review them," Kerry said in a Google+ hangout interview. Kerry had spoken to Lavrov earlier on Tuesday.

Washington believes the Russian proposal must be endorsed by the U.N. Security Council "in order to have the confidence that this has the force it ought to have," said Kerry, adding that the Russians did not share that view.

Kerry acknowledged that military aid the United States has promised to send to moderate anti-government rebels in Syria had not reached them as quickly as hoped but that aid was now "ramping up" and many of the items were now arriving.

He declined to say what items had reached groups fighting the Syrian government.

Kerry said the United States had drawn a bright line between the moderate opposition it supports and radical jihadist groups that are also fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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"We've put down a firm barrier between the assistance that goes to the moderate opposition and anything to those groups," he said. "Obviously, we oppose those groups and we are very concerned about making sure they are separated."

(Reporting by Paul Eckert; editing by Jackie Frank)