Syria plans to join Chemical Weapons Convention to avert U.S. strike
It looks as though the Russian-backed plan to put Syria's chemical weapons under international control is making headway.
The UN announced Thursday that it received documents from the Syrian government asking it to join the Chemical Weapons Convention.
"In the past few hours, we have received a document from the government of Syria which is being translated, which is to be an accession document concerning the Chemical Weapons Convention."
If Syria joins the Chemical Weapons Convention then it would become one of only seven countries outside the international convention to outlaw stockpiling chemical weapons.
Speaking to Russian state TV Thursday, President Assad said Damascus was ready to give up its chemical weapons.
"Of course in the next several days, Syria will send an appeal to the United Nations and to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and this appeal will contain technical information which is needed in order to sign the agreement."
The Syrian president said Russia would play a key role in the process.
Washington remains skeptical with U.S. officials describing Russia's plan as "doable but difficult."
Regarding the probe into the chemical weapons attack that sparked the crisis, one Australian diplomat said there was a good chance the chief UN investigators' report on whether sarin gas was used or not would come out next Monday.
"We expect to receive it sooner, rather than later, but I have no precise timetable yet. My understanding is Dr. Sellstrom and his team need to finalize their work."
According to Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency Friday, UN investigators have submitted a report to the five permanent members of the Security Council with information on chemical weapons usage in the Syrian conflict.
Meanwhile, the Russian and U.S. foreign ministers agreed on Friday to meet again in about two weeks for an international conference aimed at ending the Syrian civil war that has killed more than 100-thousand people.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the countries would work together to end the conflict but cautioned that they still had to work to find common ground.
Paul Yi, Arirang News.
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