News Column

Syria Will Allow Chemical Weapons Investigators

August 14, 2013

The Syrian government has agreed to allow a United Nations mission into the country to investigation allegations of chemicals weapons use in Syria's ongoing civil war, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday.

Ban was "pleased" to announce that Syria had "formally accepted the modalities essential for cooperation to ensure the proper, safe and efficient conduct of the mission," a spokesperson said at UN headquarters in New York.

The departure of the UN team, which last week was waiting in The Hague, is "now imminent," the spokesperson said.

The UN and Syria announced last month that they had agreed to a "way forward" for inspections, but continued to negotiate details of the inspection process.

The UN team is authorized to make on-site visits and can remain in Syria up to 14 days. The investigation period can be extended by mutual consent.

Ban expressed "appreciation to the government of Syria for its cooperation. Our goal remains a fully independent and impartial inquiry."

Ban "believes that an effective mechanism to investigate allegations of the use of chemical weapons can serve as an important deterrent against their employment," the spokesperson said.

"The overwhelming support of the international community for this investigation makes clear that the use of chemical weapons by any side under any circumstances would constitute an outrageous crime."

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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