Assad disarmament held up by Russia-US wrangle
Ravil Gainutdin, the head of the Council of Muftis of Russia, said in an open letter to President Vladimir Putin released Monday that the ruling was illiterate and provocative. Kenyan forces push to dislodge gunmen at mall Sudarsan Raghavan and Greg Miller As the armed attack at an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi enters a third day, sporadic bursts of gunfire and large plumes of smoke rise from the area. Michael Birnbaum Voters cement her status as one of Germanys longest-serving and most influential post-World War II leaders. Ruth Eglash and William Booth Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Jewish families may move into a house near Abrahams tomb. Chinese court convicts Bo Xilai of corruption Simon Denyer Ousted Communist Party official Bo Xilai was found guilty of corruption, embezzlement and abuse of power Sunday and sentenced to life in prison. The Quran is available in Russian translation, but the court last week ruled that the translation by Elmir Kuliyev published in Saudi Arabia in 2002 violated federal law banning extremist materials. Gainutdin said that the Russian Muslims were appalled by the neglect of law shown by the court in the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk and demanded that the verdict be revoked. He said the courts order to destroy the Muslim holy book was particularly outrageous. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
The Hague-based chemical arms agency has never moved weapons across borders before, because of the risk, and never worked in a war zone. WHAT HAPPENS AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL? As soon as the OPCW decision is made, the full Security Council will begin negotiations on a resolution intended to support the OPCW Executive Council’s decision. The five permanent Security Council members have been negotiating for on a draft resolution. If the OPCW decision comes on Tuesday, U.N. diplomats say a Security Council resolution could be put to a vote in New York on Thursday on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders for the General Assembly session, which begins on Tuesday. WHAT WILL THE RESOLUTION DO? Western officials say the point of the resolution is to make the Russian-U.S. plan agreed to in Geneva legally binding and enforceable. Russia, however, has said that the resolution has a more modest purpose – simply to back the OPCW decision. WHAT IS THE MAIN STICKING POINT? Enforceability. The United States, Britain and France want the measures in the resolution to be legally binding and enforceable under Chapter 7 of the U.N.
Q+A-Russia, West at odds over plan to rid Syria of chemical arm
2 hours ago NEW YORK (AFP) – Russian objections to a tough UN Security Council resolution on Syria’s chemical weapons are holding up an international plan to destroy President Bashar al-Assad’s banned poison arms, diplomats said Monday. With world leaders gathering at the UN General Assembly in New York, the deadlock is a new blow to international efforts to halt the 30-month-old conflict. Russia and the United States agreed a disarmament plan to avert a US military strike on Syria after a chemical weapon attack in Damascus on August 21 in which hundreds of people died. The two governments have sent a blueprint of what would be one of the biggest disarmament missions ever staged to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), diplomats said. US Secretary of State John Kerry has demanded a “strong” Security Council resolution to enforce the plan. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accuses the West of using “blackmail” over the plan to get Security Council approval for possible military action. US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Septem “The details of how to destroy the weapons are basically agreed, but everything is held up by the enforcement — and that is between Russia and America at the Security Council,” a UN diplomat told AFP. Diplomats at the OPCW in The Hague confirmed that the chemical watchdog’s executive council could not meet to agree the plan until the Security Council decides how to make Assad stick to the measures. “An OPCW meeting this week now looks unlikely. This will have to be sorted out by their foreign ministers and presidents,” the UN diplomat said. Kerry and Lavrov are to meet in New York on Tuesday. Without an accord between the two, the OPCW executive cannot meet and that would push back any Security Council resolution to give legal enforcement to the plan. An opposition fighter runs in a street in Damascus’ northern neighbourhood of Ashrafiyeh on Septembe “The delays are holding up the start of disarmament and the deadline they have set for mid-2014 is already very tight,” added a second diplomat. Western diplomats say they want a resolution under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to Assad’s duties to declare and hand over all chemical weapons binding under international law. They deny that there is any approval for military action or any sanctions in the current draft being negotiated.