Russian President Vladimir Putin says the international community must welcome a decision by the Syrian government to join the Chemical Weapons Convention.
“I believe we should welcome such a decision of the Syrian leadership. I would like to express hope that it will be a very serious step on the path to solving the Syrian crisis, ” Putin told the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization(SCO) in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, on Friday. On Thursday, Syrian Ambassador to the United Nation Bashar al - Ja’afari said Damascus has become a full member of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Syrian President Bashar al - Assad has said that his country would submit the documents on joining the global treaty in a few days. The move by the Syrian government came after Russia proposed that Syria’s chemical weapons be put under international supervision.
“This confirms the serious intentions of our partners to go along this path, ” said the Russian president, referring to the government of President Assad, which Moscow has supported all through the deadly crisis in Syria.
Putin further reiterated Moscow’s firm stance against any military intervention in Syria, saying, “Recent diplomatic efforts have allowed to reduce an immediate threat of a military operation.” Meanwhile, China’s President Xi Jinping told the summit that Beijing welcomes Russia’s plan. “We support the Russian initiative to hand over Syrian chemical weapons under international control.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry resumed the second day of key talks in Geneva regarding Moscow’s initiative. The rhetoric of war against Syria first gained momentum on August 21, when the militants operating inside the country and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition claimed that over a thousand people had been killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds on the outskirts of Damascus. The Syrian government categorically rejects the allegation and says the militants carried out the attack to draw in military intervention. Putin has also described as “utter nonsense” the allegation that the Syrian government was behind the attack. On September 4, Putin said, “If there is evidence that chemical weapons were used by the regular army... then this evidence must be presented to the UN Security Council. And it must be convincing.”