Turkish foreign minister hails UN deal on Syria

Minister Davutoglu calls the UN Security Council agreement "satisfying," warns its implementation is the yardstick

Turkish foreign minister hails UN deal on Syria

World Bulletin/News Desk

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has welcomed a draft UN resolution on Syria, praising its comprehensiveness but cautioning that effective enforcement is necessary for it to bear fruit.

Davutoglu called the deal "satisfying in many ways" at a televised interview on Friday, allowing that it was a hard-earned outcome that Turkey had been seeking for a long time.

UN Security Council (UNSC) permanent members agreed on Thursday on a draft resolution to rid the Syrian government of its chemical weapons program.

The agreement, expected to be put to a vote late on Friday, underpins the international community's demand on Syria to abandon its stockpiles and allow chemical experts access to its weapons sites.

"This is the first time there is a binding draft resolution at UNSC on Syria," Davutoglu said. "This means that the issue will be a mainstay on the UN's agenda and a framework will be in place for future contingencies."

The resolution is based on a US-Russia deal brokered earlier this month that plans to send weapons inspectors on the ground next week.

The deal features an ambitious timetable that requires the Syrian government to shut down all its weapons facilities by November, and aims to have the entire chemical arms arsenal destroyed or removed by mid-2014.

"Workable" text

Minister Davutoglu said Turkey values several aspects of the agreement, including its being under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which lays down the legal basis for use of force if Syria fails to comply.

He said the cooperation between the UN and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was significant for ensuring better accountability.

"The draft resolution is satisfying in many ways and paves the way for progress in the Syrian crisis," he said. "It wasn't easy to get it; some states reportedly insisted on a much weaker and flexible text".

Davutoglu added that the agreement charts out a trajectory towards a possible political solution to the Syrian civil war at large.

"What we have now is a text that is workable if there is a will to implement it," he said. "We'll see what happens in its implementation."

The UN Security Council is expected to vote on the draft resolution late Friday, after OPCW provides the body with details on the first phase of its mission starting next week.

Last Mod: 27 Eylül 2013, 23:17
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