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UN Security Council approves resolution to destroy Syria's chemical weapons

The 15-member Security Council voted unanimously to adopt the resolution requiring the Syrian regime to surrender its poison gas.

John kerry un security council syria resolution 28092013Enlarge
US Secretary of State John Kerry waves to the media outside the UN Security Council on Sept. 27, 2013 after the 15-member body approved a resolution requiring Syria to give up its chemical weapons. (AFP/Getty Images)

The UN Security Council late Friday adopted a resolution compelling Syria to give up its chemical weapons stash.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon immediately hailed the unanimous vote by the 15-member body as “the first hopeful news on Syria in a long time.”

“Tonight, the international community has delivered,” he said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said the "strong, enforceable, precedent-setting" resolution showed diplomacy can “peacefully defuse the worst weapons of war."

However, the resolution does not spell out what course of action world leaders would take if Damascus refused to comply with their demands. That would require further talks.

The resolution states Syria "shall not use, develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile or retain chemical weapons."

It also backed plans for a political transition in Syria and called for an international conference to be held "as soon as possible" to implement it. 

The agreement comes after intense negotiations between the United States and Russia, a key ally of Syria.

It was based on a deal between the two countries reached earlier this month following the deadly nerve gas attack in Damascus that killed hundreds and sparked US threats to launch a military strike on the country.

The US blames the Syrian regime for the Aug. 21 attack, while President Bashar al-Assad and Russia have pointed the finger at rebel fighters. 

Assad has agreed to dismantle the country's chemical weapons program by mid-2014.

More from GlobalPost: UN draft resolution on Syria: legally binding but lacks enforcement mechanism

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130927/un-security-council-approves-resolution-chemical-weapons