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Syria's Assad to give up chemical weapons: UN

September 13, 2013 09:31 IST

The United Nations said on Friday it has received documents from Syrian government on joining the chemical weapons convention, which outlaws their production and use.

"The Secretary-General (Ban Ki-moon) has received a letter from the Government of Syria, informing him that President (Bashar) Al-Assad has signed the legislative decree providing for the accession of Syria to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction of 1992," said a UN statement.

In their letter, the Syrian authorities have expressed their commitment to observe the obligations entailed by the convention even before its entry into force for Syria, said the spokesman of the secretary-general.

Ban welcomed this development, noting that, as depository of the convention, he has long called for universal accession to the chemical weapons convention.

"Given recent events, he hopes that the current talks in Geneva will lead to speedy agreement on a way forward which will be endorsed and assisted by the international community," the UN statement said.

The chemical weapons convention requires all parties to declare and destroy all of the chemical weapons they possess.

Syrian President earlier told Russian TV the papers were being sent and that it would submit weapons data one month after signing.

The US accuses the Syrian regime of carrying out chemical attacks against its own people in which more than 1,400 people were killed. The government denies the allegation, blaming rebels for the attack in the Ghouta area of the capital, Damascus, on August 21.

The move came as US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov held a comprehensive meeting in Geneva on resolving the Syrian crisis to bring its chemical weapons under international control.

Image: Image: A UN chemical weapons expert, wearing a gas mask, inspects one of the sites of an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Damascus' suburb of Zamalka

Photograph: Mohammad Abdullah/Reuters

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