Chemical watchdog seeks temporary Syria ceasefire

Director General Ahmet Uzumcu watchdog has said that Syrian officials had been “quite cooperative” in the early stages of the chemical weapons destruction. (Reuters)

The head of the world's chemical weapons watchdog called Wednesday for a temporary ceasefire in Syria's civil war to ensure that disarmament deadlines are met.

“I think if some temporary ceasefires can be established, I think those targets could be reached,” Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons chief Ahmet Uzumcu told journalists in The Hague, reported Agence France-Presse.

The OPCW has been given the challenge of dismantling Syria's chemical weapons arsenal and facilities by mid-2014.

Uzumcu said the timeline laid out for Syrian disarmament “is extremely tight.”

Syria has won rare international praise for its cooperation with the chemical disarmament mission, deployed in Damascus since October 1.

Inspectors have already visited one chemical site in Syria and are visiting another on Wednesday.

“There are 20 sites to be visited in the coming weeks,” said Uzumcu.

The chemical watchdog has until mid-2014 to complete the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons under the terms of a U.N. Security Council resolution that followed a brokered U.S.-Russian deal.

The plan was launched after a chemical weapons attack near Damascus on August 21, in which hundreds - Washington claims around 1,400 - people died.

(With AFP)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:41 - GMT 06:41
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