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U.N. talks begin on Syria chemical arms

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DAMASCUS, Syria — Tense negotiations have begun on a proposed U.N. resolution that would put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control and end a diplomatic stalemate over a deadly suspected poison gas attack, a French official said today.

The plan for Syria to relinquish its chemical weapons, initiated by Russia, appeared to ease the crisis over looming Western strikes against President Bashar Assad’s regime in Damascus, only to open up new potential for impasse as Moscow rejected U.S. and French demands for a binding U.N. resolution with “very severe consequences” for non-compliance.

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