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CWC not a substitute for destroying Syria's stockpile: Harf

Harf stressed that America's end goal has not changed and said Assad could no longer be part of a Syrian future

CWC not a substitute for destroying Syria's stockpile: Harf

WASHINGTON (AA) - Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is not a substitute for working with us and the Russians to verify and ultimately destroy their stockpile, said Marie Harf, Deputy Spokesperson of US Department of State, on Thursday. 

She reminded the meeting of US Secretary of State John Kerry with UN Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi in Geneva, adding Secretary Kerry also spoke with Syrian Opposition Coalition President Jarba and Supreme Military Council General Idris to discuss his meetings in Geneva with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.

"The secretary reiterated that President Obama's threat of military action very much remains on the table, and it is the only reason the Syrian regime has for the first time ever acknowledged its arsenal of chemical weapons and announced its commitment to turn them over to international supervision," she said in a daily press briefing.

Upon being asked whether there was a link between Geneva and the New York about a possible Security Council resolution, Harf said, "They are certainly parallel processes. We have diplomats in both places talking right now. The Geneva process is focused on how we can work with the Russians to set up a way to identify, verify, secure and ultimately destroy Assad's chemical weapons. Those discussions are related to the discussions that are going on in New York, where they are talking about a potential text for a U.N. Security Council resolution. We're working very closely with the British, with the French, with our other partners at the U.N."

Concerning Syria's letter on its demand to be a party to Chemical Weapons Convention, Harf said, "We think the Chemical Weapons Convention is an important thing that we're a part of, but that would not be a substitute for working with us and the Russians to verify and ultimately destroy their stockpile."

"In terms of the allegation that the opposition used chemical weapons, it would, as we've said repeatedly, be preposterous for anyone to suggest that anyone other than the Assad regime is responsible for the August 21st chemical weapons attack," she said referring to the opinion piece of Russian President Vladimir Putin in The New York times.

Harf stressed that America's end goal has not changed and said Assad had less credibility and could no longer be part of a Syrian future.

After a journalist said 'Ankara (Turkish capital) is skeptical that destroying all these mass destruction weapons is not enough to stop the violence in Syria," Harf said, "We certainly feel the same way, that destroying chemical weapons won't end the conflict in Syria. We believe that the only way to end the conflict in Syria in a durable way that's good for the Syrian people is through a political solution. That's why we're also invested in the Geneva II process to get a political solution. So we would agree that destroying the chemical weapons would be a very good thing for regional security and for the Syrian people, but there needs to be a political solution to actually end the entire conflict."

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