LONDON — Britain, France and the United States will table a resolution on Syrian chemical weapons in the United Nations Security Council later on Tuesday, said British Prime Minister David Cameron, reacting to a Russian proposal for Syria to surrender such arms.
Cameron was speaking after Syria accepted the proposal in order to win a possible reprieve from punitive U.S. military strikes which U.S. President Barack Obama has floated as a way of preventing a repeat of a suspected chemical attack on Aug. 21.
Cameron, who said he had just spoken to Obama about the issue, told lawmakers: “If this is a serious proposal then we should act accordingly and I think a U.N. Security Council resolution is a good idea.”
“In that resolution I think it’s quite important that we have some clarity about thresholds. We need to know that there’s a proper timetable for doing this, we need to know there’d be a proper process for doing it, and crucially there’d have to be consequences if it wasn’t done.”
Cameron said the world needed to test how genuine the Russian proposal to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international control was, saying it was important to make sure the idea wasn’t “some delaying tactic, some ruse”.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said separately that time was “short” to try to ensure that the Syrian offer to surrender its chemical arms was credible, noting that President Bashar al-Assad’s government had “consistently failed to match promises with action”.