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US president Barack Obama, Iranian president Hasan Rouhani, Syrian president Bashar Assad and Russian president Vladimir Putin. AP File photos

Ireland to give €200k towards destroying chemical weapons in Syria

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore said it reflects Ireland’s “long-standing opposition to the use of weapons of mass destruction”.

IRELAND IS TO give €200,000 towards the international fund to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons.

Announcing the funding, Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore said it reflected Ireland’s “long-standing opposition to the use of weapons of mass destruction”. Ireland has already given almost €11 million in humanitarian assistance to Syria.

“The process of eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons must be quick, credible and comprehensive in order to ensure that their use can never again be contemplated,” said the Tánaiste.

The €200,000 will be channelled through the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, of which Ireland is a member.

In an unexpected alliance last week, the US and Russia agreed a provisional framework for the destruction of Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons over the coming months.

Syria’s leader Bashar Al-Assad said that he will surrender Syria’s chemical weapons, but has warned it will take at least one year and cost around one billion dollars.

Eamon Gilmore is in New York for the General Assembly of the United Nations, where he is expected to meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Melinda Gates of the Gates Foundation.

An investigation into the alleged use of chemical weapons in a Damascus suburb on 21 August confirmed that sarin gas was used in the attack. Western countries have said the attack could only have been carried out by the Syrian government against its own people, but Syria has maintained that rebels used the nerve agent.

Read: Syria meets watchdog deadlines >

Read: Assad will destroy chemical arms – but it’ll take a year and cost $1 billion >

Read: Almost 80 per cent against Irish support for war in Syria >

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