MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti) – The initial chemical weapons declaration, filed by Syria several days ago, is a good first step that shows the importance of Russian-US cooperation on the issue, US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said on Sunday.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said on Friday Syria had filed an "initial declaration" outlining its chemical weapons program. The organization gave no further details about the document, saying only that it is being studied by experts.
“The initial declaration of Syria about its chemical weapons arsenals is a good first step, [it] demonstrates the usefulness of cooperation between the US and Russia. There is still a lot of work to do,” US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said in a Russian-language Twitter message on Sunday.
After weeks of intense diplomacy and an almost three-day-long marathon of talks in Geneva between Lavrov and Kerry, Moscow and Washington reached a breakthrough agreement on Syria’s chemical weapons issue in mid-September.
The deal stipulates that Damascus will submit a comprehensive list of its chemical weapons within a week, that weapons inspectors will be on the ground in Syria by November, and that all the country’s weapons will be removed or destroyed by the middle of 2014.