OPCW Pleased on Constructive Beginning of Mission in Syria
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) stated its satisfaction with the "constructive beginning" of its mission to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons.
In his opening declaration to the 74th session of the OPCW Executive council, the start of a four-day meeting in The Hague, Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu reported on the progress.
According to the statement the Syrian government already provided additional information updating its initial disclosure and Syrian officials commenced destroying certain chemical weapons and destroying or disabling a range of items.
"These developments present a constructive beginning for what will nonetheless be a long and difficult process," the chief of the global chemical weapons watchdog said.
The Director-General further stated that the OPCW will deploy a second team of inspectors to expand the verification and destruction activities in Syria, Xinhua reported.
The new team will be added to the current team of experts, who have been in Syria since October 1 on a complex mission of finding and dismantling an estimated 1,000-ton chemical arsenal in Syria.
Uzumcu added that he soon sign an agreement between the OPCW and the United Nations to facilitate the provision of security and field and logistics support by the UN for the joint OPCW-UN mission.
Last Sunday the first group of experts returned to The Hague after one week in Syria. They had discussed with officials from President Bashar Assad's government in Damascus on the disclosure of its chemical weapons program. "The discussions were constructive and the Syrian authorities were co-operative," the OPCW stated.
On Wednesday the Director-General will provide an update on the OPCW's activities in Syria during a press conference in The Hague. In addition, Malik Ellahi, political adviser to the Director-General, will give further details on the planning of the OPCW mission.