Chemical watchdog adopts Syrian disarmament plan: OPCW

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The world's chemical watchdog on Saturday adopted a plan to dismantle Syria's chemical arsenal, shortly before the the UN Security Council votes on a resolution including the blueprint.

"The decision is adopted and it is effective immediately," Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons spokesman Michael Luhan told journalists after the Executive Council meeting.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has called the OPCW document the "rules and regulations" of Syria's chemical disarmament to be enshrined in the UN resolution that is to be voted on at 0000 GMT Saturday.

The chemical weapons deal is the biggest diplomatic achievement on Syria after more than two years of a bitter civil war that the UN says has killed more than 100,000 people.

Syria agreed to give up its chemical weapons as part of a US-Russian deal struck earlier this month.

The draft OPCW document, seen by AFP, says the watchdog will start chemical weapons inspections no later than October 1.

The 41-member OPCW Executive Council usually takes decisions by consensus, or they require a two-thirds majority vote to pass.

Syria is reported to have around 1,000 metric tons of chemical weapons, including 300 metric tons of sulphur mustard.

In case of non-compliance with the plan, which requires all Syrian chemical weapons and facilities destroyed by mid-2014, the OPCW will discuss the allegation and then take it to the UN Security Council and General Assembly.

© 2013 AFP

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