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UN Council backs Ban's Syria disarmament plan

11 october 2013, 18:16
The UN Security Council on Thursday backed a plan by UN leader Ban Ki-moon for a joint mission with the global chemical arms watchdog to destroy Syria's weapons, AFP reports according to the diplomats.

Ban has said up to 100 experts in a UN-Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) mission will be needed to carry out an operation to eliminate Syria's banned arms.

After the first Security Council talks on Ban's recommendations, Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said that "no objections" were raised.

The council's 15 envoys had agreed that the UN and the OPCW are doing "a great job," said France's UN ambassador Gerard Araud. "Good cooperation by the Syrian government has been noted," Churkin told reporters.

A chemical weapons attack in Damascus in August, which left hundreds dead, sparked an international crisis that led to threats of a US military strike against Syrian government targets.

However the Security Council passed a resolution on September 27 backing a Russia-US plan to destroy President Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons by mid-2014.

The first members of an OPCW-UN team have since started work supervising the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons production facilities.

A Security Council letter will be sent to the OPCW formalising the accord for a joint mission, Churkin said. The letter was expected to be approved on Friday.

Ban is expected to quickly name a leader of the joint mission which will have bases in Damascus and Cyprus.

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