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World powers agree Syria arms plan

Britain, the US, Russia, France and China have agreed a draft United Nations Security Council resolution designed to rid Syria of its chemical weapons.

The so-called P5 permanent members of the group will present the text to the full council for approval.

The UK's ambassador to the UN, Sir Mark Lyall Grant, wrote on Twitter: "P5 agree on binding and enforceable draft #UNSC resolution text to eliminate #Syrian CW arsenal. We shall introduce text to full SC tonight."

It comes after American and Russian officials met for talks on Tuesday at the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations in New York.

US secretary of state John Kerry and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, who met for nearly 90 minutes, were unable to agree the text of a resolution.

There were differences between US and Russian diplomats over the wording of the resolution intended to hold President Bashar Assad's regime responsible if it fails to dismantle its chemical weapons stockpile as pledged.

It is understood that foreign ministers of the P5 core members met UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon earlier yesterday.

In his address to the security council yesterday, US president Barack Obama called for consensus.

"If we cannot agree even on this, then it will show that the United Nations is incapable of enforcing the most basic of international laws," he said.

Further discussions will be held to discuss a proposed peace conference on Syria to be held in Geneva next month.


From Belfast Telegraph