Kerry rejects Assad’s 30-day timetable

GENEVA (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is rejecting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s (bah-SHAR’ AH’-sahd) suggestion he begin submitting data on his chemical weapons arsenal one month after signing an international chemical weapons ban.

Kerry spoke at a news conference Thursday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (SEHR’-gay LAHV’-rahf). Kerry noted Assad said a 30-day lead time would be standard.

Kerry said, quote, “there is nothing standard about this process” because Assad used chemical weapons. Kerry said the Syrian regime’s words are not enough.

Kerry cautions that a U.S. military strike could happen if Assad doesn’t agree to dismantle his chemical arsenal properly.

He says, quote, “There ought to be consequences if it doesn’t take place.”

Lavrov says the dismantling, quote, “will make unnecessary any strike against the Syrian Arab Republic.”

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