NEW YORK - Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Masood Khan, has described as “a very good development” the Russian initiative that Syria put its chemical weapons under international control, and urged the United States and Russia to work out an agreement on the proposal.
“I think it is crucial that the United States and Russia develop an agreement, bring it back to the (UN Security) Council so that the divide in the Council is bridged,” he said in an interview with FOX News, noting that the 15-member body has been in a state of impasse.
“So, this development, this proposal by Russia, can act as a catalyst for first forging unity within the P-5 (five permanent members of the Security Council) and then the larger Council,” the Pakistani envoy said, while responding to questions.
When asked about the difficulties involved in the process to destroy the chemical weapons in situation of civil war in Syria, Masood Khan the details can be worked out once there is an agreement on the proposal.
“First things first,” he said. “I think that Secretary (of State John) Kerry and Foreign Minister (Sergey) Lavrov, they’re meeting in Geneva and the day after. And first, they have to come to an agreement and understanding. Once we have crossed that threshold, then all other details can be worked out.
“For instance, what would be the composition of the monitoring mechanism that is going secure chemical weapons and then which parties will agree to implement them?
“Of course, OPCW (Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) would be involved. We can anticipate that and there are other mechanism which can be, which can have Russia and United States as its members. So, there are many possibilities. It is too early to speculate on the specific details,” Masood Khan added.
Asked whether the Russian proposal was real, Masood Khan said, “Yes, it’s a substantive proposal. I think it has been taken seriously by the United States. It has triggered a flurry, a diplomatic flurry in the Security Council and outside in all the capital. So, I think it’s a serious proposition.”
About doubts voiced by some personalities, he said there would be skepticism until there was an agreement.