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UNITED NATIONS, September 14 (Itar-Tass) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the Russian-American framework agreement on the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria and pledged support.
“The Secretary-General welcomes the news that Russian Federation Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry have reached an understanding regarding the safeguarding and destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles,” his spokesperson said on Saturday, September 14.
The Secretary-General looks forward to learning more of this framework agreement and pledges the support of the United Nations in its implementation, the spokesperson said.
Ban also expressed hope that “the agreement will, first, prevent any future use of chemical weapons in Syria and, second, help pave the path for a political solution to stop the appalling suffering inflicted on the Syrian people.”
Russia and the United States expect Syria to submit, within a week, a comprehensive listing, including names, types, and quantities of its chemical weapons agents, types of munitions, and location and form of storage, production, and research and development facilities.
The stressed that the most effective control of these weapons may be achieved by removal of the largest amounts of weapons feasible, under OPCW supervision, and their destruction outside of Syria, if possible.
Russia and the U.S. urged Syria to provide the OPCW, the U.N., and other supporting personnel with the immediate and unfettered right to inspect any and all sites in the country in order to achieve accountability for their chemical weapons.
The two countries strongly reiterated their position on Syria as reflected in the Final Communique of the G-8 Summit in Northern Ireland in June 2013, especially as regards chemical weapons.
Russia and the U.S. agree to set the following target dates:
-- Completion of initial OPCW on-site inspections by November.
-- Destruction of production and mixing/filling equipment by November.
-- Complete elimination of all chemical weapons material and equipment in the first half of 2014.
Moscow and Washington pledged to work together closely, including with the OPCW, the U.N. and Syrian parties to arrange for the security of the monitoring and destruction mission, noting the primary responsibility of the Syrian government in this regard.