Chemical weapons watchdog and UN report "initial progress"

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There has been "encouraging initial progress" in the process to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons, according to the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

In a statement released on Thursday, the UN and the OPCW say their joint team has had the first working day of meetings with Syrian authorities.

Documents handed over on Wednesday by the Syrian authorities "look promising", according to team members, but further analysis, particularly of technical diagrams will be necessary and some more questions remain to be answered.

UN Spokesperson, Martin Nesirky says the team hopes to begin onsite inspections and initial disabling of the equipment within the next week.

"This depends on the outcome of the technical groups established with the participation of Syrian experts yesterday. These groups are working on three areas which are key to the mission's success: verification of the information handed over by the Syrian Government; the safety and security of the inspection teams; and practical arrangements for implementing the plan, under which Syria's chemical weapons material and equipment are to be eliminated by mid-2014." (29")

Last week, the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons.

Jocelyn Sambira, United Nations

Duration:   1’16″


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