No objection at UN to joint mission to destroy chemical weapons
The UN Security Council had no objection on Thursday to a proposal by UN Chief to establish a joint mission by international bodies to carry out the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons, dpa reported.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recommended in an eight-page letter to council on Monday the establishment of a 100-person joint mission by the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to oversee the elimination of Syria's 1,000-metric-ton chemical arsenal.
"No, there were no objections" to Ban's proposal, Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters after closed consultation by the 15-member council.
In order to "quickly" approve Ban's letter, the council's member states asked the current council president - Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev of Azerbaijan - to draft a letter to the secretary general soon, Churkin said.
Twelve additional inspectors from the OPCW have arrived in Syria, joining 15 others tasked with destroying the country's arsenal.
The experts had already visited three sites and were scheduled to inspect more in the coming days, Michael Luhan, spokesman for OPCW, told dpa by phone from The Hague.
A joint UN-OPCW team last week began destroying arms and production facilities under a US-Russian plan backed by a UN Security resolution to rid Syria of its chemical weapons stockpile.
In his proposal, Ban has set a target for the joint mission to destroy all Syria's chemical weapons by mid 2014.