"International officials need help to rid Syria—the world—of these terrible weapons. Sending these chemicals over long distances is dangerous. This is a job that needs to be done closer to home. The most obvious candidate: Russia. The Russians have extensive experience in dismantling their own chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. But Moscow is reluctant, reportedly because it is behind schedule in destroying its own chemical arms," the Chicago Tribune writes in an editorial.
"Even as Damascus makes a show of handing over its entire chemical arsenal for destruction, U.S. intelligence believes the regime continues to hide weapons from international inspectors. Even if Assad is handing over the entire arsenal, he can always purchase new stocks of these weapons from North Korea, which maintains a robust chemical weapons complex. All he needs to do is hold on to power," the Wall Street Journal writes in an editorial.
"Although it is possible that the [Syrian] regime and Moscow are not always and entirely on the same page tactically, continued arms support from Russia to the regime suggests they are very much in the same place strategically in terms of regime survival. If they are, then the Obama administration's political transition hopes for Geneva—conference and process alike—would seem to be groundless," writes Fredric Hof, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.
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Indonesia May Scale Back Cooperation with Australia
Mozambicans headed to the polls on Wednesday to vote in local elections, but many citizens were nervous after Renamo guerillas threatened to disrupt the polls (Reuters). Renamo, the largest opposition party, is boycotting the elections, and its leader is hiding deep in the forest that served as his base during the civil war.