Chemical experts make 'encouraging progress' in Syria

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Syria: Experts make 'good progress'
Damascus, Oct : The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN said in a joint statement Thursday that their team of experts has made "encouraging initial progress" during their first day of mission in Syria.

"The joint OPCW-UN team mandated to assist Syria with the elimination of its chemical weapons programme has made encouraging initial progress, following the first working day of meetings with the Syrian authorities," Xinhua reported citing a joint OPCW-UN statement.

The team arrived in Syria Tuesday to embark on a complex mission of finding and dismantling an estimated 1,000 tonne of chemical arsenal in Syria.

The UN Security Council has ordered the OPCW to help Syria destroy its chemical weapons by mid-2014. It gives inspectors about nine months to complete their task. In a week, the OPCW mission will be expanded as more investigators arrive.

"Documents handed over yesterday (Wednesday) by the Syrian government look promising, according to team members, but further analysis, particularly of technical diagrams, will be necessary and some more questions remain to be answered," the statement said.

The OPCW team hopes to begin onsite inspections and the initial disabling of equipment within the next week, the statement said.

However, the onsite inspection depends on the outcome of the technical groups established with the participation of Syrian experts.

IANS

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