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OPCW inspectors arrive in Damascus

October 01, 2013, 17:03 UTC+3
Before the inspection starts, the OPCW inspectors will have a meeting with the Syrian authorities
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Photo ITAR-TASS/ EPA/SHAAM NEWS NETWORK

Photo ITAR-TASS/ EPA/SHAAM NEWS NETWORK

BEIRUT, October 1 (Itar-Tass) - A team of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Tuesday arrived in Damascus, the Al Mayadeen television channel reports. The team’s mission is to inspect Syria’s chemical arsenals.

Before the inspection starts, the OPCW inspectors will have a meeting with the Syrian authorities. The team includes engineers, chemists, paramedics and other specialists. They have 30 days to inspect chemical weapons production and storage facilities, after which they are to present a report.

The previous inspectors' mission left Syria September 30. Now they will analyze information they collected in tha country on the use of poisonous substances, U.N. Secretary-General’s spokesman Martin Nesirky told journalists on Monday.

According to Nesirky, the final report will be ready by late October.

Syria is joining the organization in special conditions, OPCW representatives noted, since the regular procedure allocates 60 days to consider the application of a potential member country. The document comes into force 30 days after the application is approved. After that, the new member state has 30 days to declare its chemical weapons arsenals to the OPCW. In Syria’s case, the time span from the application submission to the country’s provision of information about its chemical arsenals was reduced to seven days. It is an unprecedented fact, OPCW officials stressed. After the OPCW basic document, the Chemical Weapons Convention, comes into force for Syria on October 14, 2013, the country will officially become the 190th member state of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Under the OPCW plan, all Syria’s chemical arsenals are to be disposed of by the middle of 2014.

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