Syria fully on board with plan to eliminate its chemical arsenalListen /
Syria has to date, fully cooperated with an advance team charged with implementing a UN-backed plan to eliminate the country's chemical weapons programme.
That's according to Sigrid Kaag, the newly-appointed Special Coordinator of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations Joint Mission.
However, Ms. Kaag explained the timeframes were "challenging" given the goal of the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons programme in the first half of 2014."
Inspections so far have been conducted at 17 sites, the OPCW confirmed on its website Tuesday. At 14 of these sites, the inspectors carried out activities related to the destruction of critical equipment to make the facilities inoperable.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, in a briefing to the Security Council, noted that while important progress has been made on the chemical weapons file, he believes an "inclusive political and Syrian-led" process is necessary to end the violence.
"We are working hard to convene the Geneva conference in mid-November. Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi is in the region on a tour that will include visits to Syria and key states who can bring influence to bear on the prospects for peace."
The conference, Feltman added, will help the Syrian sides launch a political process, which would hopefully lead to an agreement on a new transitional governing body with full executive authority.
Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.