(WASHINGTON) — State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf on Monday outlined the next immediate steps to the U.S.-Russia deal struck this weekend.
The deal gives a six-month timeline for the destruction of Syria’s weapons, and beginning this week the Syrian government is expected to hand over a full list of their chemical weapons stockpile to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
“The Syrian government will have to, within the week, give a list of their full chemical weapons stockpile, their hopeful program to the OPCW. Within the same time frame, the U.S. and Russia will also be submitting a request to the OPCW to expeditiously, on an accelerated timeline, move forward with destruction of these weapons. The OPCW will be making a decision on that request in the same time frame as well,” Harf said Monday.
As for how the U.S. will know this is a complete list, Harf said the U.S. has its own intelligence assessments of what it believes is the Syrian stockpile and will compare the list given with the assessment. She said Syria’s handover of the list is the first test of how serious the regime is about cooperating.
“Clearly, this is going to be the first example of the intentions of the Syrian regime, how serious they are. So we hope that it will be a complete listing of their — well, we have an assessment of the Syrian regime stockpile,”said Harf. “We and the Russians agreed to an assessment of the size of the Syrian regime stockpile. So we know what our information says about that, and we will take a look at their submission when they actually submit it to the OPCW.”
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