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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

World

Chemical inspections in Syria to start by Tuesday
AFP
The Hague, September 28, 2013
First Published: 01:20 IST(28/9/2013)
Last Updated: 01:22 IST(28/9/2013)

Inspection of Syrian chemical weapons sites with a view to their destruction must start by Tuesday, says a draft decision to be discussed by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on Friday.

Besides weapons locations declared by Damascus as part of a deal to head off threatened military strikes, inspectors will also be able to visit "any other site identified by a State Party as having been involved in the Syrian chemical weapons programme," says the draft document seen by AFP.

The draft says however that such matters could be resolved through "consultations and cooperation" and that the OPCW's director general Ahmet Uzumcu can deem claims of hidden chemical weapons as "unwarranted".

The OPCW's 41-member council was scheduled to meet on Friday in The Hague to discuss the draft which lays out what US secretary of state John Kerry has called the "rules and regulations" of Syrian chemical disarmament, which Damascus has signed up to.

Syria agreed to give up its chemical weapons as part of a US-Russian agreement made earlier this month, worked out as Washington threatened military action in response to an August 21 chemical weapons attack outside Damascus.

In cases of non-compliance with the plan, which sees all Syrian chemical weapons and facilities destroyed by mid-2014, the OPCW will discuss the allegation and "bring the issue or matter... directly to the attention of the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council."


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