Friday Sep 20, 201304:25 PM GMT
OPCW receives Syria chemical weapons declaration
Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:1PM
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The world's chemical weapons watchdog says it has received an "initial declaration" of Syria's chemical weapons program.


The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said on Friday that the Syrian government has begun sending details of its chemical arms as part of a US-Russia brokered deal to put them under international control for their final annihilation.

The Hague-based organization said it will not release details of the declaration, adding that it is expecting more details from the Syrian government in the coming days.

Michael Luhan, a spokesman for the OPCW, said the data is being examined by the organization's technical secretariat.

Earlier, the organization announced that it had postponed a meeting planned for Sunday to discuss the Russia-US plan.

"The meeting of the Executive Council of the OPCW in regard to Syria, scheduled for Sunday, has been postponed," OPCW said, adding, "We will announce the new date and time in this space as soon as possible."

Russia and the US agreed in Geneva on September 14 on a deal to eliminate Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons by mid-2014.

Syria accepted the proposal, which was initially put forward by Russia as a way to head off Washington’s possible use of force against Damascus.

Washington had threatened to take military action against Syria over a deadly chemical attack near Damascus on August 21.

Damascus has repeatedly said that the attack was carried out by Takfiri groups in a bid to draw in foreign military intervention.

HM/KA/SS
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