France calls Syrian chemical weapons deal an important first step

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius speaks during a press conference at the French Embassy in Beijing on Sunday, Sept 15, 2013. Mr Fabius said a Russia-US deal to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons was an important fir
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius speaks during a press conference at the French Embassy in Beijing on Sunday, Sept 15, 2013. Mr Fabius said a Russia-US deal to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons was an important first step and called for a political solution to address the mounting death toll in Syria. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (REUTERS) - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said a Russia-US deal to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons was an important first step and called for a political solution to address the mounting death toll in Syria.

Mr Fabius made the comments to reporters in Beijing after meeting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

After three days of talks in Geneva, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday demanded Assad account for his secret stockpile within a week and let international inspectors eliminate all the weapons by the middle of next year.