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Kerry urges UN to back Syria plan

US secretary of state John Kerry has said the UN general assembly should move swiftly to approve a US-Russia deal to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons, claiming there is no time to argue with those who remain unconvinced that Syrian president Bashar Assad's government carried out a chemical attack last month.

Speaking at the State Department, Mr Kerry did not mention Russian president Vladimir Putin, but his remarks were a clear attempt to rebut Mr Putin's statement that Russia has strong grounds to believe that Syrian rebels - not Assad - were responsible for the attack.

Mr Putin said the perpetrators relied on "primitive" technology using old Soviet-made ammunition no longer in the Syrian army's inventory.

Mr Kerry says the US believes a report by UN inspectors proves Assad conducted the attack.

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