UN Council backs Ban`s Syria disarmament plan
New York: The UN Security Council on Thursday backed a plan by UN leader Ban Ki-moon for a joint mission with the global chemical arms watchdog to destroy Syria`s weapons, diplomats said.
Ban has said up to 100 experts in a UN-Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) mission will be needed to carry out an operation to eliminate Syria`s banned arms.
After the first Security Council talks on Ban`s recommendations, Russia`s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said that "no objections" were raised.
The council`s 15 envoys had agreed that the UN and the OPCW are doing "a great job," said France`s UN ambassador Gerard Araud. "Good cooperation by the Syrian government has been noted," Churkin told reporters.
A chemical weapons attack in Damascus in August, which left hundreds dead, sparked an international crisis that led to threats of a US military strike against Syrian government targets.
However, the Security Council passed a resolution on September 27 backing a Russia-US plan to destroy President Bashar al-Assad`s chemical weapons by mid-2014.
The first members of an OPCW-UN team have since started work supervising the destruction of Syria`s chemical weapons production facilities.
A Security Council letter will be sent to the OPCW formalising the accord for a joint mission, Churkin said. The letter was expected to be approved on Friday.
Ban is expected to quickly name a leader of the joint mission which will have bases in Damascus and Cyprus.
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