Chemical weapons inspectors outline Syria agenda
THE HAGUE — Syria's government has been “businesslike and efficient” in advance of meetings this week to lay the groundwork for the destruction of the country's chemical weapons, officials charged with overseeing the effort said on Sunday.
Inspectors from the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said they would arrive in Damascus at midday Tuesday and spend a week in the city before starting visits to chemical weapons facilities declared by the Syrian government. The OPCW officials said the details of the Syrian declaration appeared to line up with external intelligence assessments of what the government possesses, giving them optimism that the regime is being cooperative.
“It's been good business so far,” said an OPCW official, speaking at a briefing for reporters under the condition of anonymity. “So far, our interactions with the Syrians have been very businesslike and efficient.”
Syrian President Bashar Assad said on Sunday that he was committed to living up to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which calls for a ban on chemical weapons possession and production. Under a plan approved last week by the U.N. Security Council, Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles are to be fully destroyed by the middle of next year.
“Of course we have to comply” with the treaty, Assad told Italian Rai News 24 television, according to a transcript of the interview published by the state-run, English-language Syrian Arab News Agency. “This is our history: to comply with every treaty that we sign.”
But OPCW officials acknowledged that many practical and political challenges lie ahead. The agency does not have extensive experience in dealing with governments that do not fully detail their chemical weapons. If another government alleges that it has discovered Syrian chemical weapons that are not in the official rolls, an OPCW official said, the agency would have to refer the matter to its director general and to its 41-nation executive council.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- U.S. forces help rescue hostages in Yemen
- Israelis get eyes in sky for Jerusalem patrols
- U.N. argues against redactions in torture report
- Russian fliers have to get out and push
- Former Iguala mayor, wife seized in Mexico City in case of 43 missing students
- Russia, Ukraine trade buildup allegations
- Annual global obesity costs rise to $2T
- ‘Hunger Games’ salute leads to arrests
- Suicide blast kills 45 at Afghan volleyball tournament
- Iraqi forces claim 2 towns wrested from ISIS
- Putin says he won’t be Russia’s president for life