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China Daily Website

FM hails US-Russia deal

Updated: 2013-09-16 00:15
By Pu Zhendong in Beijing and Li Xiang in Paris ( China Daily)

"Although many difficulties still exist in the political resolution of the issue, China is determined to push for a peaceful settlement and the exclusion of any military threat," he added.

Fabius will meet Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague in Paris on Monday to discuss the content and implementation of the agreement.

Qu Xing, president of the China Institute of International Studies, said the agreement is a major step forward and it is in the interests of both Washington and Moscow.

"The US is saved from an embarrassing situation because the proposal of the military attack on Syria is facing mounting objections. Russia, on the other hand, wants to protect its strategic interests in the area," Qu said.

The UN is also expected to release its report on Syria's chemical weapons as early as Monday. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said it would be "an overwhelming report that chemical weapons were used" in Syria, but he did not comment on who was to blame for the Aug 21 attack.

"So far, China's position on Syria has been in line with Russia's. Meetings in the coming days, including Fabius's visit to China, will indicate if Beijing is able to take a leading role in finding a solution," said Alice Ekman, China analyst at the French Institute for International Relations.

Zhang Fan contributed to this story.

Agreement tough to implement

The US-Russian deal brokered on Saturday to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons will be difficult if not impossible to implement, experts said, not least because of the quandary of their destruction.

The landmark deal thrashed out in Geneva gives Syria a week to hand over details of the government's stockpile, which it aims to destroy by mid-2014 to avert US-led military strikes.

But chemical weapons expert Jean Pascal Zanders said that timetable is irrelevant because decision-making now passes to the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

"The Executive Council has sovereign decision-making, and the US and Russia just have one vote each among the 41 members, so I wouldn't be surprised if we don't have consensus decision-making," Zanders said.


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