Disarmament mission in Syria to begin

1 October 2013 11:42
(QHA) - Weapons inspectors are due to begin work in Syria as part of a United Nations-backed framework for eliminating the country's chemical weapons, reports VOA. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has laid out a timetable that calls for inspectors to visit all of Syria's chemical weapons facilities within 30 days. The Syrian government must destroy the equipment used to make chemical arms by November 1, and all of its chemical weapons must be stockpiled by the middle of next year. As reported earlier, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution last week ordering Syria to comply with the OPCW's disarmament plan and to give inspectors free access to all sites they deem important for that mission. Any violation could result in punishment ranging from sanctions to military action. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said on Monday that his government will fully comply with the U.N. Security Council resolution passed last week, which ordered Syria to dismantle its chemical weapons program. The minister also told the United Nations General Assembly, the international community should create a nuclear-free zone throughout the Middle East.