US-Russian Meetings on Syria Underway
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - Secretary of State John Kerry and his team have opened two days of meetings with their Russian counterparts in Geneva. Kerry is hoping to come away with the outlines of a plan for securing and destroying vast stockpiles of Syrian chemical weapons.
Accompanied by U.S. chemical weapons experts, Kerry met for about 45 minutes with the U.N. and Arab League envoy for Syria. He's also meeting today with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is joined by Russian technical experts.
An official says the U.S. hopes to know in a relatively short time if the Russians are trying to stall. Russia put forward the proposal for Syria to turn over its chemical weapons as a way to try to avert a U.S. military strike.
The meetings got under way as Syria's Bashar Assad said on Russian TV that his government will start submitting data on its chemical weapons stockpile a month after signing a convention banning those weapons.
Meanwhile, word has surfaced that the CIA has been delivering light machine guns and other small arms to Syrian rebels for several weeks.