Departure of UN team to probe chemical weapons use in Syria "imminent"

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Ake Sellström, head of the UN team investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria. [UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe]

The departure of a team of United Nations experts to investigate allegations of the use of chemical weapons in the conflict in Syria is "now eminent."

That's according to a statement issued by the Spokesperson of the UN Secretary-General late on Wednesday.

It announced that the government of Syria has accepted the modalities essential for cooperation to ensure the proper, safe and efficient conduct of the UN mission to probe chemical weapons use in the country.

The statement says that "as agreed with the Syrian government, the team will be in the country to conduct its activities, including on-site visits for a period of up to 14 days, extendable upon mutual consent".

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reiterates that "he has complete faith in the integrity and professionalism of Dr. Ake Sellstrom," the Swedish scientist leading the mission, and his team of experts.

He says that "an effective mechanism to investigate allegations of the use of chemical weapons can serve as an important deterrent against their employment."

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’01″

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