Syria Says it Joined Chemical Treaty on Thursday - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Syria Says it Joined Chemical Treaty on Thursday

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Syria's U.N. ambassador says that Syria has become a full member of the treaty banning the use of chemical weapons as of Thursday. 
 
Bashar Ja'afari told reporters he presented Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with "the instrument of accession" to the Chemical Weapons Convention.
 
He said President Bashar Assad signed a legislative decree earlier Thursday declaring Syria's approval to join the treaty, which requires destruction of all chemical weapons.  
 
U.N. associate spokesman Farhan Haq said "the secretary-general welcomes this development, noting that, as depository of the convention, he has long called for universal accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention."

"Given recent events, he hopes that the current talks in Geneva will lead to speedy agreement on a way forward which will be endorsed and assisted by the international community," Haq said.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is rejecting Syrian President Bashar Assad's suggestion Thursday that he begin submitting data on his chemical weapons arsenal one month after signing an international chemical weapons ban.
 
Speaking at a news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Kerry noted that Assad said a 30-day lead time would be standard.
 
"There is nothing standard about this process," Kerry said, because Assad has used his chemical weapons.
 
"The words of the Syrian regime in our judgment are simply not enough."
 
Kerry cautioned that a U.S. military strike could occur if Assad doesn't agree to dismantle his chemical arsenal properly.
 
He said,  "There ought to be consequences if it doesn't take place."
 
Lavrov said the dismantling "will make unnecessary any strike against the Syrian Arab Republic."  (AP)  

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