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AFP

Russia chemical arms plan won't
stop Syria bloodshed, Gulf says

A Russian proposal under which Syria has agreed to surrender its chemical weapons to international supervision will not end the bloodshed in the war-torn country, Gulf monarchies said Tuesday.

 

"This does not stop the bloodshed in Syria," Bahrain Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled al-Khalifa, whose country is the current president of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, said following a ministerial meeting.

 

"The issue is not about one type of weapon... We are tired of procrastination and delay," he said.

 

"We want an end to the suffering of the Syrian people," he added.

 

Syria said Tuesday it has accepted the Russian proposal to hand over its chemical weapons to avert threatened US military strikes over Damascus' alleged use of the internationally banned arms against rebel strongholds, killing hundreds of people.

 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov unexpectedly raised the proposal on Monday after meeting his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem, setting off a flurry of diplomatic activity as world leaders scrambled to respond to the gesture.

 

US President Barack Obama, already facing a tough task winning Congressional approval to strike against Syria, said the Russian proposal "could potentially be a significant breakthrough."

 

The GCC has openly voiced support for the armed revolt against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, with Saudi Arabia -- the bloc's heavyweight -- pushing for US-led strikes against his forces.

 

On Monday, the kingdom reiterated its call for the international community to "assume its humanitarian responsibility to rescue the Syrian people and end its suffering from criminal acts and genocide."

 

Syria's conflict has killed more than 110,000 people since it broke out in March 2011.

 

In addition to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, the GCC comprises Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

The issue is not about one type of weapon... We are tired of procrastination and delay.