Kerry Says U.N. Must Act on Syria Next Week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday it was essential that a Russia-U.S. deal on eradicating Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal be enforced and that the U.N. Security Council act on it next week.

Secretary of State John Kerry talks about Syria and chemical weapons ahead of next week’s United Nations General Assembly at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013. Kerry says the U.N. General Assembly needs to move swiftly to approve a U.S.-Russia deal to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons, saying that there is no time to argue with those who aren’t convinced that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime carried out the Aug. 21 attack that killed hundreds. (AP)

“The Security Council must be prepared to act next week,” Kerry told reporters. “It is vital for the international community to stand up and speak out in the strongest possible terms about the importance of enforceable action to rid the world of Syria’s chemical weapons.”

Kerry also said that recent comments by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who on Wednesday said his government would never develop nuclear weapons, were positive but cautioned that “everything needs to be put to the test.”