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Ban Ki-moon proposes to appoint special liaison on Syrian chemical weapons destruction

October 08, 2013, 9:48 UTC+3

In his letter to the Security Council, UN SG proposes to set up a joint mission based in Damascus and Cyprus

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UN, October 8. (ITAR-TASS). UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sees proper to appoint a special liaison to deal with issues related to the destruction of existing chemical weapons in Syria. This was stated in a letter that Ban Ki-moon sent on Monday to the UN Security Council. A copy of the document was obtained by Itar-Tass.

Ban Ki- moon has recommended to establish a joint mission of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) based in Damascus and Cyprus to destroy the existing stockpiles of toxic substances in Syria. A special joint mission will be headed by a civilian liaison who will be assigned to UN SG on the basis of extensive consultation with the OPCW Director General at the level of Deputy Secretary-General, the letter says. The Special Liaison will report to Ban Ki-moon and the OPCW Director General, will carry out coordination of the joint mission, as well as interact with the Syrian government, opposition groups and the international community, in accordance with the mandate of the mission, the letter specifies.

The letter of Ban Ki-moon says that, in view of the current situation, the presence of the joint mission in Syria will be very limited, and there would be deployed only the staff necessary to fulfill the tasks set. The office in Damascus would be a base camp.

September 27, OPCW Executive Council approved a plan of complete elimination of stockpiles of chemical weapons in Syria, which is expected to be completed by mid-2014. On the same day, the UN Security Council passed a resolution that makes the decision binding and includes measures up to sanctions or use of military force in case of disobedience.

On Sunday, October 5, was started the first phase of the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons stocks and of the equipment used to produce it.

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