"Doable" says UN Chief on Syria chemical weapons disposal
Vitaly Churkin, Russia's Ambassador to the United Nations, speaks to the media after attending a briefing in the Security Council on the weapons inspectors report on chemical weapons in Syria. [AFP]
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“Achievable but difficult” says the Chief UN Weapons inspector, Ake Sellstrom, in response to the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons. He stated that much of the success will depend on whether the opposition and Damascus were ready and willing to negotiate the process.
After a visit to Syria and a confirmation that the nerve agent, sarin, was used in an attack on August 21st, the UN Security Council is now focused on attempting to agree to a resolution on the issue.
“Dealing with Syria's chemical arsenal was "doable. But of course, it will be a stressful work," Sellstrom told BBC's Newsday program.
There is debate on who is to blame for the deadly attack. Damascus, allied by Russia, claims that opposition forces were responsible while western nations point to government forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the horrific attack.
In the wake of Syria’s decision to give up its use of chemical weapons, Sellstrom believes his team's report may have been a factor in their final choice.
While the report stated facts about evidence found, no blame was directed in the findings.
As the plan continues to be drafted, there are disagreements over the final wording. While the US and UK want to see the option of military action should Assad fail to follow through on the agreement, Russia is opposed to any such language. The plan is expected to finalize elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal by mid-2014