The US and Russia have agreed a deal on eliminating Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons by mid 2014.
After nearly three days of intense talks in Geneva, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that a diplomatic solution must be found to end the war.
Kerry told a press conference: “The United States and Russia have long agreed that there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria. It has to be political, it has to happen at the negotiating table.”
The US’s push for diplomacy so soon after threatening to launch air strikes against President Assad’s forces has surprised many.
Russia has long been against military intervention.
Lavrov added: “Obviously, our common approach doesn’t imply any use of force, or any kind of automatic sanctions. As I already said, any incident must be proven in a certain and clear way in the UN Security Council.”
After weeks of tension between Russia and the US, there now appears to be a joint resolve.
Assad has been given one week to hand over a full list of his regime’s chemical weapons.