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Russia prepares visit to Syria by OPCW experts — envoy

January 24, 3:15 UTC+3

The Syrian government invited OPCW investigators to districts liberated from militants, where abandoned warehouses with chemical weapons were found

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UN, January 24. /TASS/. Russia is trying to organize a visit by experts of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to Syria, where they can examine chemical agents seized from militants, Russia’s UN envoy Vasily Nebenzya told reporters on Tuesday.

According to the Russian diplomat, the Syrian government invited OPCW investigators to districts liberated from militants, where abandoned warehouses with chemical weapons were found.

"We have access. We are trying to organize a visit by the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission from The Hague, so that [they] can take a look at this and make conclusions," Nebenzya said.

The Syrian authorities have consistently rejected accusations of using chemical weapons and blamed terrorists for such incidents. In August 2017, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told reporters in Damascus that hand grenades and grenade launcher rounds laden with irritants were found in abandoned militant arms depots. He said those munitions were manufactured on the territory of the United States and the United Kingdom.

On Tuesday, the UN Security Council hold an emergency meeting on Russia’s initiative to discuss allegations of a new chemical incident in Syria. During the meeting, Russia’s UN envoy Vasily Nebenzya announced that Russia has prepared a draft resolution on setting up a new international investigative body be set up to establish facts of chemical incidents in Syria, which will operate "on the basis of scrupulous and incontestable evidence received by means of transparent and reliable methods.".

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