GENEVA - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday they have reached an agreement on a framework for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons, and raised the specter of a potential U.N. Security Council resolution that could authorize sanctions -- even military action -- if President Bashar Assad's government fails to comply.
The diplomats announced on the third day of intense negotiations in Geneva that some elements of the deal include a timetable and how Syria must comply. Notably, Kerry said they had agreed on grounds under which they might request a Security Council "Chapter 7" resolution -- authorizing both military and non-military sanctions.
The U.S. and Russia are two of the five permanent Security Council members with a veto. The others are Britain, China, and France.
Kerry said any violations will result in "measures" from the Security Council, while Lavrov said the violations must be sent to the Security Council from the board of the chemical weapons convention before sanctions -- short of the use of force -- would be considered.
At a news conference at the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva, Kerry said the inspectors must be on the ground by November and destruction or removal of the chemical weapons must be completed by mid-2014.
"We have committed to a standard that says, verify and verify," he said.
Lavrov called the agreements a "decision based on consensus and compromise and professionalism."
"Any violations of procedures ... would be looked at by the Security Council and if they are approved, the Security Council would take the required measures, concrete measures," Lavrov said. "Nothing is said about the use of force or about any automatic sanctions. All violations should be approved by the Security Council."
Kerry said the pair and their teams of experts had reached "a shared assessment" of Syria's weapons stockpile and that Syria must destroy all of its weapons.
The negotiations between the United States and Russia on securing Syria's chemical weapons also are considered key to a resumption of peace talks to end the 2 1/2-year Syrian civil war.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Click on the region names in the map below to see news from that region.
Things To Do
INSIDE: Check out our top pick for weekend events around Arizona!
RIGHT NOW: Top Stories
Authorities have arrested an 18-year-old male and a male juvenile in connection to the murder of a 50-year-old maintenance worker at a Glendale apartment complex last week.
Authorities said a school bus collided with a young child riding his bike Friday afternoon in Goodyear.
Authorities searched a Tempe middle school Friday morning after receiving a report that a student had allegedly brought a gun to school, Tempe police said.
A Chandler man was arrested Wednesday after an undercover investigation led to the bust of an alleged prostitution ring run out of an apartment, police documents said.
Under pressure from the wind-power industry, the Obama administration said it will allow companies to kill or injure eagles without fear of prosecution for up to 30 years.
Five adults and one teenager are being treated at a Pachuca, Mexico, hospital for possible radiation poisoning, state news reported Friday.