Saturday’s deal between Washington and Moscow to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons is a positive first step, but “more work needs to be done” to ensure those weapons are no longer a threat in the region, President Obama said after the agreement was reached.

The deal reached between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “represents an important, concrete step toward the goal of moving Syria’s chemical weapons under international control,” he said in a statement issued by the White House.

Ensuring Syrian President Bashar Assad complies with disarmament arrangements is an area American and international negotiators are working to address.

Under the U.S.-Russian plan, Assad will hand over control of his weapon stockpiles to the United Nations. Any failure to transition control of those weapons to the international community could trigger military action, sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council.

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