Ban calls for destruction of Syria chemical weapons

Ban calls for destruction of Syria chemical weapons
Mon Sep 9, 2013 22:20:25

UN leader Ban Ki-moon has called for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons in internationally supervised safe zones.

Ban told reporters on Monday he may propose the zones to the UN Security Council if UN inspectors confirm the use of the banned weapons.

He said it would also be a bid to overcome the 15-nation council's "embarrassing paralysis" over the Syria conflict.

"I am considering urging the Security Council to demand the immediate transfer of Syria's chemical weapons and chemical precursor stocks to places inside Syria where they can be safely stored and destroyed," Ban said.

His announcement came after Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged Syria to place its chemical weapons under international supervision to head off the threat of a western military strike.

Syria welcomed the initiative strongly.

"Two and half years of conflict in Syria has produced only embarrassing paralysis in the Security Council," he added in a new attack on the divisions between the major powers.

"There would be a need for accountability, both to bring to justice those who used them ... and to deter anyone else from using these abhorrent methods of warfare," Ban said.

A UN team led by Swedish expert Ake Sellstrom is working on a report on whether chemical arms, banned under international law, were used in Syria.

There are still no evidence presented to the public on who was behind the attack with was carried out near Syrian capital on August 21.


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