Syria 'gave assurances' it will meet chem handover deadline: Russia
MOSCOW (AFP) - The Syrian government gave assurances on Wednesday that it will comply with a one-week deadline to hand over information about the size and location of its chemical weapons arsenal, a Russian diplomat said after talks with the Damascus regime.
The Saturday deadline is the first big test of a US-Russian plan to eradicate Syria's chemical weapons in a bid to ward off US-led military action against President Bashar al-Assad's regime over a gas attack on a Damascus suburb last month.
"We have received assurances here that this will be done on time," Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Russian television after talks in Damascus, which included a meeting with Assad.
Despite having jointly agreed a deal under which Syria will turn over its chemical weapons stockpile, Moscow and Washington remain at loggerheads over who launched the Aug 21 attack.