Interim Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy is hopeful that the agreement reached between the United States and Russia over the controlled destruction of Syrian chemical weapons is the first step to ridding the Middle East of such weapons.
Fahmy welcomed on Saturday the agreement reached between the US and Russia on dealing with Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced on Saturday the Framework for the Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons, a process that is set to start with Syria submitting a detailed list of its chemical weapons capabilities within a week.
The agreement came after three days of talks at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, which was also attended by UN and Arab League Joint Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi.
In a statement on Saturday Fahmy said that the agreement “should pave the way for a political solution” to the Syrian crisis and he “hopes that it opens the path towards convening the Geneva II conference.” He called upon all the sides in the Syrian conflict to participate in the conference to “save the lives of Syrian citizens” and achieve “regional security and stability.”
The minister also expressed that he hoped that the steps taken in Syria could lead to ridding the Middle East of chemical, nuclear and biological weapons, “without exception or discrimination.” The ministry had been pushing for the convening of a regional conference to achieve this goal following its postponement towards the end of 2012. The ministry and the Arab League both blamed Israel for being uncooperative in relation to the organising of the conference.
The Syrian conflict, as well as the Palestinian issue, will be top of the agenda when Fahmy meets Lavrov in Moscow for two days of talks, set to start on Monday. The ministry confirmed that Fahmy travelled to Moscow on Sunday ahead of the planned discussions. The pair is also expected to discuss bi-lateral relations in a variety of fields.