■Timing: In an interview, Assad said that Syria would sign the Chemical Weapons Convention but that it would be 30 days before it would deliver details of its stockpile.
On the other hand, Secretary of State John F. Kerry told reporters in Geneva that an agreement he was working on with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had to be “implemented in a timely fashion,” implying he did not consider 30 days fast enough.
■U.S. aid to Syrian opposition: Assad said, “When the U.S. stops supplying weapons to terrorists and we see they are committed to stability in the region, then we will be ready to see this process through to the end.”
At the White House, press secretary Jay Carney told reporters the United States has been “stepping up our assistance to the Syrian military opposition, no question,” and indicated it will continue no matter what happens in current talks.
■Maintaining the threat of a military attack: Assad said his promise to turn over his chemical stocks “counts most of all on the U.S. renouncing threats of force and adhering to the Russian plan.”
That is not going to happen. Kerry referred to Obama’s speech in which the president noted the U.S. “military remains in a position to execute a plan around holding Assad accountable for his appalling use of chemical weapons against civilians.”