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OPCW officially confirms destruction of Syria’s declared chemical weapons

October 31, 2013, 14:05 UTC+3

Meanwhile, Head of UN-OPCW Joint Mission in Syria to visit Moscow

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THE HAGUE, October 31 (Itar-Tass) - The Joint Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) - United Nations Mission confirmed on Thursday that “the government of the Syrian Arab Republic has completed the functional destruction of critical equipment for all of its declared chemical weapons production facilities and mixing/filling plants, rendering them inoperable,” OPCW stated in a release.

The OPCW-UN Mission “has inspected 21 of the 23 sites declared by Syria, and 39 of the 41 facilities located at those sites. The two remaining sites were not visited due to safety and security concerns,” the release says.

Earlier on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Information and Press Department told Itar-Tass that the Special Coordinator of the Joint Mission of the United Nations and OPCW for chemical disarmament in Syria, Sigrid Kaag, will visit Moscow on November 1, 

“We confirm the arrival in Moscow on November 1 of Special Coordinator of the UN-OPCW Joint Mission in Syria Sigrid Kaag, she will hold a meeting with RF Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov,” the ministry informed.

On Wednesday, UN Secretary-General’s spokesperson Martin Nesirky said that Kaag would visit Moscow on Friday at the invitation of the Russian authorities. According to him, it would be a one-day visit. Nesirky did not specify what would be the subject for discussion at the consultations.

The mission’s special coordinator is to meet in The Hague on Thursday OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu. On return to New York from Russia, Kaag will report to the UN Security Council on the progress of the operation aimed at Syrian chemical weapons’ destruction.

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