Officials to arrive in Damascus, probe Syrian chemical arsenal

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Syrian chemical arsenal probe this week
The Hague, Sept 30: A team of 20 experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), will begin verifying Syria's chemical weapons arsenal as a first step in its destruction this coming week.

"The group of inspectors will depart on Monday but they will not begin their work until Tuesday" in the Arab nation, and "on that same day they will have contact with top political officials" in Syria, OPCW officials said.

The experts will travel to Damascus on Monday, and will begin their work on Tuesday to carry out a plan agreed to by the international community and ratified by the UN to destroy the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal during the first half of 2014, officials from the organisation based in The Hague said.

The work to be carried out during the first phase of the process is to verify the figures provided by Syria regarding the size of its chemical weapons arsenal, followed by the destruction of the production installations and then the elimination of the weapons themselves, the officials said.

The process of divesting Syria of its chemical weapons will have a substantial cost, and both the OPCW and the UN have issued a call to the international community for economic cooperation in the matter.

IANS

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