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Syria given time to hand over its chemical weapons

September 11, 2013, 11:15 UTC+3

Majority of players in dead-lock with possible military interference offered a way out of it without losing face

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Having gained approval from Damascus, Moscow proposed to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control. This initiative was met with support in many countries, including the United States. The U.S. Congress postponed debates on a possible military strike against Syria at least until next week. Analysts say this proposal will help both the West and Damascus not to lose their face.

The White House has met Russia’s chemical weapons proposal favorably in general, Novye Izvestiya daily writes. This is clear, as even members of the Congress in a traditionally bellicose mood towards foreign policy issues realize quite well that the United States’ open interference into Syria’s war will have unpredictable consequences, first of all for America itself. Judging by all this, at least the lower house will not support a strike on Syria. In these conditions many Americans will hail the way out of the situation allowing their country to save its face.

A situation creating a life buoy to which Damascus, Washington and Moscow are clinging emerges, Moskovsky Komsomolets writes, asking a question who could have thought and even dreamt of such a magic buoy. As a result, we see a ray of light in the realm of darkness or light at the end of the tunnel. A drowning man is catching at a straw, but in this case he is given a life buoy. Let’s see how he will use it.

Moscow’s proposal to place Syria’s chemical arms under international control gains support in many countries of the world, Nezavisimaya Gazeta says. Even if this initiative is approved by all interested parties, the problem as experts forecast will not be resolved by itself. The thing is that Syria unlike other 150 countries has not signed the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction. This means it has made no reports to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons located in The Hague on the number of weapons, their structure, deployment bases and organization of their security.

According to intelligence data of the United States, Russia and other countries, around 1,000 tonnes of warfare agents are stored in Damascus, the daily writes, puzzling if Syria agrees to hand over its chemical weapons for international control, who and how would carry this control out and if Syria’s chemicals weapons are put under control, what steps would be taken further.

Russia’s Syria chemical weapons proposal is just a successful diplomatic step, but this is a significant step towards a big foreign policy victory, Vedomosti business daily reports. The proposed scheme allows the majority of players involved a dead-locked situation with possible military interference into the conflict to find the way out of it without losing face.

Not only Damascus, but also Moscow do not want military intervention in Syria, the daily writes. In fact, the United States and its European allies also do not want it to happen. Syrian rebels and some countries of the Persian Gulf need this operation. However, the need for Obama to incur liabilities and punish Damascus for the use of sarin led the whole situation into a blind alley.

The proposed scheme will help both the West and Damascus to save face, the Vedomosti believes. Moscow still looks like a “triumphator”. If real agreements are reached, this will be an undoubted success for the Russian diplomacy. After all, Russia has acted consistently as concern Syria’s conflict settlement, the daily writes.

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