OPCW will send another team to Syria

OPCW will send another team to Syria
Tue Oct 8, 2013 17:42:12

The world's chemical weapons watchdog says it is planning to deploy a second team of inspectors to bolster its program to destroy Syria's chemical arsenal.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons "will deploy a second team of inspectors for the mission in Syria," it said in a statement on Tuesday.

"That will augment the advance team of OPCW experts, who have been in Syria since 1 October conducting verification and destruction activities," it said, without providing further details on the new team.

The OPCW, which has until mid-2014 to complete the destruction of Syria's chemical arsenal under the terms of a Russia-US-brokered agreement, is holding a regular meeting of its Executive Council this week.

The Syrian government agreed to destroy the chemical weapons after reports of an alleged chemical attack on august 21, which the government believed was carried out by militants who are leading a massive bloody war in Syria since 2011.

The organization’s Director General Ahmet Uzumcu briefed diplomats at the meeting on progress made so far in Syria.

He confirmed that Syria was cooperating with the joint OPCW-UN disarmament mission, and had on Sunday begun destroying chemical weapons.

A range of items was also being destroyed "towards the goal of rendering unusable all production facilities and mixing and filling equipment by 1 November of this year," the statement said.

"These developments present a constructive beginning for what will nonetheless be a long and difficult process," Uzumcu said.

A deal providing for the UN to facilitate security and field logistics for the mission will be inked shortly, he added.


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