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Syria hands over detailed plan to destroy chemical weapons on time

Damascus was required to submit the destruction plan under a US-Russian deal agreed last month.

U.N. inspectors of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in Syria last week.
U.N. inspectors of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in Syria last week.
Image: Jens Meyer/AP/Press Association Images

SYRIA HANDED OVER a detailed plan to destroy its chemical stockpile on time, international watchdog Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) today.

“On 24 October 2013, the Syrian Arab Republic submitted to the OPCW its formal initial declaration covering its chemical weapons programme,” the watchdog said in a statement, adding that Damascus had had until today to do so.

On time

Damascus was required to submit the destruction plan under a US-Russian deal agreed last month that headed off military strikes on Syria. The accord also gives Syria up to mid-2014 to destroy its chemical arsenal.

President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has already handed over an inventory of its chemical weapons and facilities, and international inspectors are already busy inspecting and destroying them. The OPCW said a first monthly report of the international inspectors, covering their work on the ground since 1 October, is ready and will be sent to the UN Security Council by UN chief Ban Ki-moon.

Syria’s latest disclosures “provide the basis on which plans are devised for a systematic, total and verified destruction of declared chemical weapons and production facilities”, said the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

“The document from Syria includes a general plan of destruction for consideration by the OPCW Executive Council,” it added.

Chemical weapons

The OPCW’s Executive Council will use the Syrian declaration to decide by November 15 on “destruction milestones” for Syria’s arsenal. Syria has also sent in a declaration of its chemical weapons activities and facilities, meeting its obligations as a new state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW said.

(C) AFP, 2013

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