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Deal reached at UN Security Council on Syria chemical-weapons resolution

United Nations, Sep 27 (): The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council came to an agreement on Thursday on a draft resolution to remove chemical weapons of Syria, a major step in taking the most controversial weapon off the battlefield of the world’s deadliest current conflict. But, the draft resolution does not enact any severe penalties if it fails to observe.

Senior diplomats from U.S., Russia, Britain, China and France confirmed the agreement. On Thursday night, the full 15-member Security Council met behind closed doors and U.N. Ambassador of Britain, Mark Lyall Grant said he would introduce the text there. This is the first time, the world’s major powers have acted in concert by a resolution to restrict the bloodshed in Syria, which has killed more than 100,000 people.

U.S. and Russian officials are certain that the vast majority of Syria’s nerve agent stock consists of “unweaponized” liquid precursors that could be defused quite fast, lowering the danger that the toxins could be buried away by the government or stolen by terrorists.

A close assessment by the United States and Russia also concludes that entire arsenal of Syria could be destroyed in about nine months, assuming that Syrian officials honour promises to surrender control of the chemical possessions to international inspectors, according to two people briefed on the analysis.

The U.N. resolution will include the text of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – OPCW’s declaration and make it legally binding, so the OPCW must act first. The OPCW said Thursday it was hopeful it could quickly schedule a meeting of its 41-nation executive council to approve its plan.

Some Western countries had sought the draft to demand that the doers of chemical weapon attacks be mentioned to the International Criminal Court to be prosecuted for war crimes. Diplomats said this was discussed but Russia objected.