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Syria Submits Initial Declaration on Chemical Weapons, OPCW Says

Syrian Chemical Disarmament
A poster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad adorns a wall as a United Nations vehicle carrying inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons leaves a hotel in Damascus, on October 9, 2013. Photographer: Louai Beshara/AFP via Getty Images

Syria’s government met a deadline for submitting a declaration covering its chemical weapons program, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said.

The declarations provide the basis for destroying chemical weapons and production facilities, OPCW said in an e-mailed statement today.

The OPCW, based in The Hague, is working in Syria to ensure the destruction of chemical weapons and make all production sites and equipment unusable by Nov. 1. The organization went to Syria after the UN Security Council resolved last month to rid the country of chemical weapons after a gas attack near Damascus that the U.S. said killed more than 1,400 people.

Russia and the U.S. agreed on a deal that required Syria to account for and destroy its chemical weapons following the poison-gas attack on Aug. 21. The U.S. stopped threatening military action in response to the attack after the UN Security Council approved on Sept. 27 that all of Syria’s chemical weapons be eliminated.

Syria also submitted a declaration covering activities and facilities that are not prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention, OPCW said today. These can be subjected to routine verification measures as a confidence building measure and to establish the peaceful intent of commercial activities, it said.

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