Syria hands over chemical arms inventory to watchdog

Syria hands over chemical arms inventory to watchdog

Syria handed over the remaining details of its chemical arsenal today, meeting a deadline under a deal that headed off military strikes, the world's chemical weapons watchdog said.

Damascus had already turned over details of part of its inventory to the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, but the group said today that the process was now complete.

The "OPCW has confirmed that it has received the expected disclosure from the Syrian government regarding its chemical weapons programme," the watchdog said.
"The Technical Secretariat is currently reviewing the information received," it added.

The disclosure comes as UN envoys struggle to agree on the wording of a resolution to enshrine the deal under which Syria is handing over its chemical weapons for destruction.
The US-Russian agreement, worked out as Washington threatened military action in response to an August 21 chemical weapons attack outside Damascus, requires Syria to hand over the whole of its arsenal.

It has received widespread international support, including from China, whose Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Beijing would "support the early launch of the process to destroy Syria's chemical weapons."

Wang also called for the convening of a mooted peace conference in Geneva "as soon as possible".

But the international consensus on the plan has not carried over into negotiations on the wording of a UN Security Council resolution to back it up.

The Council's five permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- have been wrangling over the text of the resolution since Monday in a bid to find common ground.

The United States, France and Britain want a strongly worded resolution, possibly under the UN Charter's Chapter VII, which could allow the use of force or sanctions to ensure compliance. However Russia, a key ally of Damascus, opposes all references to use of force.

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