China welcomes a framework agreement signed by Russia and the U.S. to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said today during a meeting in Beijing with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius.
The agreement has relieved the tense situation and creates new prospects for resolving issues over Syria through peaceful means, Wang said, according to a statement posted on the website of the ministry.
“We still remember that several days ago the Syrian government was still denying that they own chemical weapons and used them, so now we have reached a more positive stage where we can focus on finding a proper way of solving the whole crisis,” Fabius said at the meeting, according to a pool report.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reached the agreement yesterday in Geneva on a framework for finding, securing and destroying Assad’s stocks of poison gas. The deal calls for early signs of progress, giving Syrian President Bashar al-Assad one week to submit an inventory of his toxic weapons, and calls for initial inspections in Syria by November.
The agreement between the U.S. and Russia, a longtime ally of Syria, calls for a UN Security Council resolution compelling Assad’s regime to adhere to its terms. Russia previously has used its veto as a permanent Security Council member to block UN condemnations of Assad during the 2 1/2-year civil war.
Kerry is scheduled to meet today in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He’s set to talk tomorrow in Paris with counterparts from the U.K. and France, permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and from Saudi Arabia, a major backer of the opposition forces seeking to topple Assad.