Geneva: Crunch talks continue over Syria's chemical weapons

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Geneva: Crunch talks continue over Syria's chemical weapons

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The US and Russia continued high-stakes talks in Geneva on Friday on Moscow’s plan for Syria to give up its chemical weapons.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has agreed to the Russian proposal, but said America has to stop its threats of military action.

Assad is also said to have signed up to a treaty banning the use of chemical weapons.

“Our challenge here in Geneva is to test the viability of placing Assad’s chemical weapons under international control, removing them from Syria and destroying them forever,” said US Secretary of State John Kerry.

The US has put air strikes against Damascus on hold, while the diplomacy push continues.

“The development of the events gives us an additional opportunity, to move this situation from the stage of military confrontation and to prevent any terrorist threats which are expanding in Syria and in the region,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

On day one of the talks, relations between Kerry and Lavrov appeared to be warming, but with still a hint of suspicion, illustrated by this exchange.

“I lost the last part of the translation.. Can you give me the last part please?” Kerry said in front of reporters.

Lavrov replied: “It was OK John, don’t worry”

“You want me to take your word for it? It’s a little early for that,” replied Kerry.

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