Syria will meet CW handover deadline: Senior Russian official

The Syrian government has given assurances that it will submit a comprehensive list of its chemical weapons stockpile within one week, in line with a US-Russia deal, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official says.

“We have received assurances here that this will be done on time,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Wednesday after talks in Damascus, which included a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, AFP reported.

Under the agreement, which was announced on Saturday after three days of talks in Geneva by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry, Syria will provide an inventory of its chemical arsenal within one week and hand over all of the components of its program by mid-2014.

On Monday, UN inspectors, who investigated the August 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria, reported that chemical weapons had been deployed “on a relatively large scale” in the Syria conflict.

The report, which was presented to the UN Security Council by chief UN chemical weapons investigator Ake Sellstrom, said there was “clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used in Ein Tarma, Moadamiyah and Amalaka in the Ghouta area of Damascus.”

The UN team’s mandate did not include assigning blame for the attack.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria as “a war crime” and demanded the perpetrators of the deadly attack be brought to justice.

The United States, France, Britain and the foreign-sponsored militants blamed the Syrian government for the attack.

The Syrian government has vehemently denied the accusations, saying the attack was carried out by the militants themselves as a false-flag operation.

On September 10, Muallem said Damascus was ready to implement a Russian proposal to place its chemical weapons arsenal under international control.

The Russian government proposed the initiative during a meeting between Lavrov and Muallem in Moscow on September 9.

By Press TV


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