OPCW discusses Syria chemical arms

334796_OPCW-HagueThe Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has begun talks to hammer out a timetable to eliminate Syria’s entire chemical weapons stockpile by mid-2014.

The Hague-based organization started a meeting on Friday to decide the “destruction milestones” for the chemical weapons in Syria. A Syrian delegation is also attending the discussions.

The OPCW Executive Council is expected to approve by consensus the roadmap to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons later in the day, which marks the deadline for the chemical weapons organization to finalize the plan.

Meanwhile, a team of experts from the OPCW and the UN is working on the ground in Syria to implement a UN resolution on scrapping the chemical arsenal.

On October 31, the OPCW said Damascus has managed to complete the destruction of declared chemical weapons installations, one day ahead of the deadline backed by the UN resolution, which was adopted in September.

Syria is fully cooperating with the disarmament operation. The country has already announced that it had almost 1,290 tons of chemical arms and agents as well as 1,230 unfilled chemical munitions.

On September 27, the UN Security Council approved a resolution supporting a Russia-US deal to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons by mid-2014. The deal was reached after Moscow offered Syria to place its chemical weapons arsenal under international supervision and Damascus accepted the proposal.

The resolution prevented a US military strike on Syria under the baseless pretext that the Syrian government had been behind a fatal chemical attack on the outskirts of Damascus on August 21. Damascus strongly rejected the allegation.

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