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World/National News

September 29, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

UN Security Council votes unanimously to secure and destroy Syria's chemical weapons

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Friday night to secure and destroy Syria's chemical weapons stockpile, a landmark decision aimed at taking poison gas off the battlefield in the escalating 2 1/2-year conflict.

The vote after two weeks of intense negotiations marked a major breakthrough in the paralysis that has gripped the council since the Syrian uprising began. Russia and China previously vetoed three Western-backed resolutions pressuring President Bashar Assad's regime to end the violence.

"Today's historic resolution is the first hopeful news on Syria in a long time," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the council immediately after the vote, but he and others stressed that much more needs to be done to stop the fighting that has left more 100,000 dead.

"A red light for one form of weapons does not mean a green light for others," the U.N. chief said. "This is not a license to kill with conventional weapons."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the "strong, enforceable, precedent-setting" resolution shows that diplomacy can be so powerful "that it can peacefully defuse the worst weapons of war."

Historic phone call, then optimism as US and Iran work to resolve nuclear dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Iranian president, his visit to the U.S. nearing its end, makes contact with the White House. As his car inches through New York's snarled traffic, he hears Barack Obama's voice on the phone as the U.S. president sits at his desk in the Oval Office.

Fifteen minutes later, the two men say goodbye in each other's language.

And with that, a generation-long rift between the U.S. and Iran is that much closer to being bridged.

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