The proposal made by Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, warrants careful examination. He now recognizes –as a result of the significant pressure that we’ve exerted – that there’s a serious problem with the huge stockpile of chemical weapons held by Bashar al-Assad. This proposal would be acceptable subject to at least three conditions:
Mr. Bashar al-Assad must immediately pledge to place his entire chemical weapons arsenal under international control and allow it to be destroyed;
this operation must be carried out on the basis of a binding Security Council resolution within a short timeframe and with severe consequences if he doesn’t uphold his commitments;
those responsible for the chemical massacre on August 21 must not go unpunished. The matter must therefore be referred to the International Criminal Court.
France identified two objectives from the outset: to punish and to deter. That’s why we’re now demanding specific, prompt and verifiable commitments on the part of the Syrian regime.