World Bulletin/News Desk
The Arab League on Wednesday called for placing Syria's chemical weapons under international supervision.
In a statement obtained by Anadolu Agency following an extraordinary meeting, the pan-Arab body said binding guarantees must be provided so that Syria's chemical weapons would be inventoried before they are placed under international supervision and destroyed under the eye of the UN or other international agencies.
The US and the Syrian opposition accuse the Syrian army of carrying out chemical attacks near Damascus on August 21, which killed more than 1,400 people, including hundreds of children.
The regime of Bashar al-Assad, however, vehemently denies the accusations.
The Arab League called on the UN and the international community to take effective measures to immediately stop the fighting in Syria and start negotiations that pave the way for establishing a democratic regime that respects human rights and basic freedoms in the country.
It highlighted the importance of bringing those responsible for the chemical attack in Al-Ghouta and other parts of Syria to international justice for "war crimes".
The league welcomed a Russian initiative to put Syria's chemical weapons stockpile under international surveillance.
It expressed hopes for the success of the Russian initiative so that the international community can work to protect Syria's unity and safeguard the will of the Syrian people.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry called in May for holding the Geneva II conference to find a political way out of the crisis in Syria. No specific date, however, was set for the gathering.
Earlier on Wednesday, Russian Ambassador in Cairo Serge Kirpichenko handed the official text of the Russian initiative to Arab League Chief Nabil al-Arabi.
Russia, an ally of Bashar al-Assad, had put forth the initiative to help the Assad regime avoid a possible American strike.
US President Barack Obama demanded authorization from Congress to launch the strike, accusing the Assad regime of using chemical weapons against his own people.
Obama said that the Russian initiative deserved to be given time to succeed. He, however, said a military action is still strongly on the table.
The Syrian opposition has been asking Assad to step down since March 2011. The Assad family has been ruling Syria for 40 years now.
Assad, however, has used his military force to silence the opposition, opening the door for bloody battles with the opposition, which claimed more than 100,000 Syrian lives so far and displaced millions.Last Mod: 11 Eylül 2013, 22:15