Washington (AFP) – President Barack Obama on Friday hailed a UN resolution that provides for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal as “a huge victory” for the world.
But Obama acknowledged legitimate concerns over the dismantling of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal and whether the Assad regime would live up to its commitments.
The UN Security Council was to meet at 8:00 pm on Friday to vote on the resolution, which will follow a Russia-U.S. plan on the disarmament of Syria’s chemical weapons.
“This is something that we have long sought,” Obama told reporters as he met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Oval Office.
Obama hailed the resolution and disarmament plans as a “legally binding” and “verifiable” initiative which threatens consequences if Syria did not adhere to conditions.
He described the plan as a “huge victory for the international community.”
“Realistically, it is doubtful we would have arrived at this point had it not been for a credible threat of U.S. action in the aftermath of the horrific tragedy that took place on August 21,” Obama said, referring to a chemical weapons attack on a Damascus suburb.
Obama said he was hopeful about what the accord could achieve but added that he understood there were concerns about how to implement it.
“Rightly, people have been concerned about whether Syria would follow through on commitments. I think there are legitimate concerns as to how technically we are going to be getting those chemical weapons while there is still fighting going on around.”
However, he maintained the plan was a significant step forward.