Russia: Kerry’s proposal on Syria CWs is 'premature'

Russia: Kerry’s proposal on Syria CWs is 'premature'
Sat Oct 19, 2013 16:01:40

Russia says US Secretary of State John Kerry’s proposal on shipping Syria’s chemical weapons out of the region is “premature”.

“And my hope is that much of this material will be moved as rapidly (as) possibly into one location, and hopefully on a ship, and removed from the region,” Kerry said on Thursday.

On Saturday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement, saying that “experts are considering various options and technical ways to destroy the Syrian chemical weapons, including outside Syria.”

“Considering that this work is not yet finished, in our view it is so far premature to talk about any specifics,” the statement read.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) tasked with the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons, said that it had completed nearly half of its inspections of Syria’s chemical arsenal.

“We have done nearly 50 percent of the verification work of the facilities that have been declared to us,” Malik Ellahi, OPCW's special advisor on Syria, told reporters in The Hague on Thursday.

The Hague-based organization said in a statement on Wednesday that inspectors had verified 11 out of 20 sites identified by the Syrian government and destroyed chemical weapons equipment at six sites.

Some 60 OPCW and UN experts and support staff are in Syria to implement a UN resolution on destroying the Syrian chemical arsenal. The United Nations Security Council approved the resolution on September 27.

The team has until November 1 to inspect the chemical weapons arsenal declared by the Syrian government and supervise the destruction of the related facilities.

On September 14, Russia and the United States agreed on a deal according to which Syria would have its chemical weapons stockpiles eliminated and the US would in return not carry out planned strikes on the Middle Eastern country.

The agreement came after days of mounted war rhetoric against Syria by the US and some of its allies, which blamed Damascus for a fatal chemical attack on the outskirts of the Syrian capital on August 21.

Damascus has vehemently denied the accusations, saying the attack was carried out by the militants operating inside the country as a false-flag operation.

Syrian government has also provided the United Nations with evidence which they said proved foreign-backed militants used chemicals against people and army soldiers in Syria.


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