Kerry 'pleased' with Syria chemical disarmament

MATTHEW LEE
October 7, 2013
View photos
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, speaks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bali, Indonesia, Monday, Oct. 7, 2013. Kerry, speaking at a joint press conference with Lavrov, Monday said that the United States and Russia are "very pleased" with the progress made so far in destroying Syria's chemical weapons stocks. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

BALI, Indonesia (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry says the United States and Russia are "very pleased" with the progress made so far in destroying Syria's chemical weapons stocks.

He says Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime deserves credit for its compliance with a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for the elimination of the weapons. Speaking on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific economic conference in Indonesia on Monday, Kerry said Assad was not off the hook, but needs to continue to comply with U.N. demands.

He says it is "extremely significant" that the first weapons were destroyed Sunday, just a few weeks after the resolution passed the U.N. He called Sunday's steps toward dismantling and destroying Syria's chemical weapons arsenal "a good beginning."