WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) released a statement following news that the United States and Russia have reached a tentative agreement to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons:
“I am pleased the United States and Russia have found a diplomatic solution to Syria’s chemical weapons possession and use that can avert military action. This promising proposal aims for immediate accountability and inspections, with the goal to completely eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal by mid-2014. However, ongoing civil war can make disarmament extremely difficult. We must be able to verify Syrian disarmament, including regular and detailed reports from the weapons inspectors who must have full access to Syrian weapons stockpiles.
“The United States and Russia are the experts at disarmament, but we must pay close attention to Russia’s actions toward its pseudo-ally Syria. Russia’s arms transfers and purposeful disregard for Syrian atrocities warrants close scrutiny of their involvement in U.N. enforcement.
“There’s no easy solution to the Middle East’s thorny history. The terrible Syrian conflict still rages on. We need a longer-term Syria policy that protects our interests, enforces international law and prevents humanitarian catastrophes.”