French draft UN Syria resolution

An initial French draft UN Security Council resolution on Syria would demand a complete declaration of all chemical weapons within 15 days.

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Securing Syria's chemical weapons could take years

Even if Russia's proposal of locking down Syria's chemical weapons receives international assent, experts believe it could still take years to realise.

Destroying chemical weapons is a hugely hazardous task that cannot be rushed, and according to US intelligence there are some 1,000 tonnes worth across some 41 sites in Syria.

ITV News' Diplomatic Correspondent John Ray reports on the challenges involved:

Russia steps firmly onto centre stage of Syria crisis

Another day of intense diplomacy has left the US claiming it has no option but to press on with gaining authorisation for possible military strikes in Syria.

A Russian proposal that would see Syria hand its chemical weapons over to international control still lacks detail and will not come before before the UN Security Council tonight.

Meanwhile, Russia appears decidedly on the centre stage of this crisis.

ITV News' Europe Editor James Mates reports from Moscow:

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Eight further countries sign Syria statement

The fighting in Syria continues amid international wrangling over intervention Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

Another eight countries have signed on to a joint statement calling for a strong international response on Syria, the White House says.

Georgia, Guatemala, Kuwait, Malta, Montenegro, Panama, Poland and Portugal have today signed on to the statement which condemns in the strongest terms the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons on August 21 in the suburbs of Damascus.

They join 33 countries, including the US, France, UK, Germany and Japan, who now formally support the statement.

UN Security Council meeting cancelled after Russian withdrawal

An Emergency UN Security Council meeting to discuss the ongoing crisis in Syria has been cancelled after Russia reportedly withdrew its request for the session.

Australian ambassador, Gary Quinlan, announced the news on his Twitter account, saying: "Following withdrawal of the request for consultations, Security Council meeting scheduled for 4 p.m. (2000 GMT) will not proceed."

The meeting was expected to focus on a Russian plan to place Syrian chemical weapons under international control.

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Kerry takes part in Google hangout to discuss Syria crisis

US Secretary of State John Kerry is currently participating in a Google+ Hangout to discuss the American response to the crisis in Syria.

The discussion will focus on President Obama’s decision to seek congressional approval for a military strike to deter Syria’s use of chemical weapons.

Mr Kerry will have an opportunity to answer questions submitted by online viewers.

You can watch the discussion on the video above or on the US Department of State website.

Putin: Syria plan can only work 'if US rejects force'

A Russian proposal for Syria to place its stock of chemical weapons under international control will not succeed unless the United States and its allies reject the use of force against Damascus, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin Credit: Reuters/Michael Klimentyev

The Russian President said the proposal "can work only if we hear that the American side and all those who support the United States in this sense reject the use of force," in televised remarks.

He said he hoped the plan "will be a good step toward a peaceful resolution of the crisis".

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