EU supports US-Russia agreement on Syria CWs

EU supports US-Russia agreement on Syria CWs
Sun Sep 15, 2013 18:55:41

European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton has welcomed the agreement reached in Geneva between the United States and Russia to ensure swift and secure destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.

"They are committed to finalizing the details of this agreement and submitting a draft decision to the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the next few days," she noted in a statement on Saturday.

"This will set out detailed procedures for the expeditious destruction of materiel, the termination of the chemical weapons program and a stringent verification process," stressed the EU foreign policy chief.

She called on the UN Security Council to assume its responsibilities in agreeing swiftly on a resolution that will give further authority to the whole process and demanded that Syria provide the OPCW, the UN and supporting personnel with immediate rights and unfettered access to inspect any and all sites in Syria.

"I welcome the statement of commitment by the Syrian authorities immediately to apply the Chemical Weapons Convention on a provisional basis prior to its entry into force," she said.

The EU is already the largest financial contributor to the OPCW, and a number of EU member states have the technical knowledge necessary to assist in securing sites, and in dismantling and destroying certain chemical agents, she said.

Ashton hoped that the agreement will pave the way for the resumption of efforts towards a political solution to the Syrian conflict and urged all partners in the international community to support the swift holding of a peace conference on Syria.

The West and the foreign-backed militants in Syria accused the Syrian government of gassing to death at least 1,400 Syrians on the 21 of August in a Damascus suburb. But the Syrian officials have strongly dismissed the accusation.


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