Sarbanes Statement on Syria

September 27, 2013
CONTACT: Daniel Jacobs
(202) 225-4016
WASHINGTON - U.S. Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today released the following statement on Syria:
“As a consequence of pressure exerted by the United States, the Syrian government has agreed to turn over its arsenal of chemical weapons to international inspectors and sign the international convention banning their use. Secretary Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov have set forth terms for the removal and destruction of Syria’s cache of chemical weapons by mid-2014, which begins with a comprehensive report of its arsenal, including types, quantities and locations of such weapons. Compliance with these terms is necessary and non-negotiable. 
“In the midst of a civil war, this process presents significant challenges and Americans are right to be skeptical about Syria’s ability and willingness to comply. However, I believe we must allow full opportunities for these diplomatic efforts to succeed. Placing Syria’s chemical weapons under international control would represent a major non-proliferation milestone in the Middle East. If the Assad regime does not comply with the terms of this agreement, the United States and its international partners must pursue other avenues to prevent further use of chemical weapons in Syria.”