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Expert consultations on chemical weapons in Syria to be held in The Hague

January 29, 2014, 11:05 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
The meeting will deal with technical and legal aspects of the work to eliminate the facilities
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An exterior view of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) building in The Hague

An exterior view of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) building in The Hague

© EPA/EVERT-JAN DANIELS

UNITED NATIONS, January 29. /ITAR-TASS/. Consultations involving experts from Russia, the US and Syria on eliminating 12 facilities involved in the chemical production program of the Syrian Arab Republic (SAR) will be held at the beginning of February in The Hague where the headquarters of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are located, a source at the UN told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

"The meeting will deal with technical and legal aspects of the work to eliminate the facilities. This will be a closed-door meeting which is scheduled for the first ten days of February in The Hague," the source said.

A forthcoming meeting with the participation of Russian, American and Syrian experts was mentioned by OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu in his monthly report on the activities of the OPCW mission. The document is attached to the letter of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the UN Security Council. The letter was made public on Tuesday. Such three-sided consultations were already held on January 16-17, Uzumcu recalled. "Next meeting may be held in the first week of February," Uzumcu wrote.

The equipment at the Syria-declared facilities for the production of toxic agents we put out of operation and sealed by UN and OPCW experts during the first phase of the joint operation to dismantle the chemical weapons program in the SAR. The phase was completed at the end of October last year.

The international community is now focusing on the removal and destruction of toxic materials. Ban Ki-moon pointed out in his letter to the UN Security Council that the operation lags behind schedule but that delays in carrying it out are surmountable. According to the OPCW plan, the toxic agents, with the exception of isopropanol, must be eliminated outside Syria by June 30.

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