Lebanon rejects dumping Syrian chemical arms

Lebanon rejects dumping Syrian chemical arms
Fri Nov 1, 2013 09:02:35

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri has warned against attempts to dump Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile in Lebanon, saying no force in the world could persuade the country to accept such a move.

“Sources at The Hague confirm that there is unofficial talk about Lebanon’s role in getting rid of the chemical weapons from Syria,” Berri said in a Thursday speech delivered at UNESCO at an event celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the Imam al-Sadr Institutions.

“There is no force in the world that could persuade or oblige us to dump chemicals in our land,” he added.

Media reports surfaced last week of plans to bury Syria’s stockpile of chemical arms in Lebanon as part of a US-Russia deal to rid the Damascus regime of the banned weapons.

The UN’s representative to Lebanon said Wednesday the body knew nothing of plans to destroy any of Syria’s chemical weapons in Lebanon.

“I have seen the media reports in that regard. The UN is not aware of any such plans to destroy Syrian chemical weapons in Lebanon,” UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly said.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Thursday Syria had destroyed or rendered inoperable all of its declared chemical weapons production and mixing facilities on deadline.

Berri also spoke about the danger posed by Israel to Lebanon’s oil and gas resources, urging officials to act quickly and claim the country’s full rights to its Exclusive Economic Zone.

He also said that the UN should fully apply Security Council Resolution 1701 and demarcate the maritime borders between Lebanon and Israel.

As for pending investigations into the disappearance of the founder of the Amal Movement, Imam Musa Sadr, Berri said Lebanon was still waiting for Libyan authorities to take initiative.

“We are still waiting for an initiative from our brothers in [Libya] on this matter despite the difficulties and the conspiracies that we know exist, but we are counting on the questioning of [former chief of Libyan intelligence Abdullah] al-Sanousi and Seif al-Islam Gadhafi,” he said.

Sadr, the founder of the Shia Amal Movement now headed by Berri, went missing along with Sheikh Mohammad Yacoub and journalist Abbas Badreddine during a visit to Libya on Aug. 31, 1978. Berri and Shia groups have accused Gadhafi of being responsible for the preacher’s disappearance.

BA/BA

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