France, Britain and the United States called on the U.N. Security Council Monday for a "strong resolution" on the Syrian conflict that includes "serious consequences" for Damascus if it fails to comply with the Geneva agreement.
The diplomatic agreement reached in Geneva on Saturday by the United States and Russia to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons is "an important advance," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.
"There is no military solution for this conflict, the solution is political," Fabius told reporters during a joint appearance with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague.
"We have to make the (Assad) regime understand that there is no way out other than the negotiating table," Fabius said, speaking for the three allies.
"For political negotiations, you need a strong opposition, and to strengthen the opposition, a meeting will be organized in New York with the Syrian National Council," the French foreign minister said.
The Geneva agreement shows that "the attitude of firmness has yielded fruit" since President Bashar Assad's regime had to commit itself to handing over its chemical weapons even though it denied having such arms until recently, Fabius said.
"This agreement must be quickly implemented" to eliminate the chemical threat, Fabius said. "We want rapidly verified actions."
The United States, Britain and France allege that the Assad regime killed 1,429 people in a chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21 outside Damascus.
Investigators are looking at 14 reported chemical weapons attacks in Syria, U.N. officials said Monday. EFE