September 28, 2013

UN votes to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons

By EDITH M. LEDERER and MATTHEW LEE, The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

The resolution authorizes the U.N. to send an advance team to assist the OPCW's activities in Syria. It asks Secretary-General Ban to submit recommendations to the Security Council within 10 days of the resolution's adoption on the U.N. role in eliminating Syria's chemical weapons program.

"Syria cannot select or reject the inspectors," Kerry said. "Syria must give those inspectors unfettered access to any and all sites and any and all people."

The resolution requires the council to review compliance with the OPCW's plans within 30 days, and every month after that.

In an indication of the enormity of the task ahead, the OPCW appealed for donations to fund the disarmament, saying it will have to hire new weapons inspectors and chemical experts.

To that end, Britain's foreign minister announced after Friday's vote that the UK would donate $3 million to OPCW Syria Trust fund.

Meanwhile, a group of U.N. inspectors already in Syria investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons said Friday they are probing a total of seven suspected attacks, including in the Damascus suburb where hundreds were killed last month. That number was raised from three sites previously.

The OPCW destruction plan calls on Syria to give inspectors unfettered access to any site suspected of chemical weapons involvement, even if Syria's government did not identify the location. That gives the inspectors unusually broad authority.

Associated Press writers Mike Corder in The Hague, Netherlands, Toby Sterling in Amsterdam, Amir Bibawy at the United Nations and Albert Aji in Damascus contributed to this report.

 

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