Syria Formally Requests To Join U.N. Chemical Weapons Convention

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 12 2013 5:34 PM

Syria Formally Requests To Join U.N. Chemical Weapons Convention

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Syrian President Bashar Al Assad sits at a desk at the Arab Summit March 27, 2002 in Beirut, Lebanon.

Photo by Courtney Kealy/Getty Images

Amidst the diplomatic talks in Geneva negotiating a potential settlement to the alleged use of chemical weapons by Bashar Al-Assad, Syria formally requested to join the U.N. Chemical Weapons Convention on Thursday, which prohibits the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer or use of chemical weapons.

With the request, Bashar Ja’afari, Syrian Ambassador to the U.N., said, “the chapter of the so-called chemical weapons should be ended.” U.N. associate spokesman Farhan Haq told the BBC, the Syrian documents were in the process of being translated. “The agreement will come into force a month after the signing, and Syria will begin to hand over to international organizations the data on its stockpiles of chemical weapons,” Assad told Russian television station, Rossiya-24, in an interview broadcast Thursday. “These are established, standard processes, which we will abide by.”

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Despite the formal request by the Syrian government, other remarks made by Assad in the Russian television interview cast some doubt on whether the regime was willing to follow through with its stated intention to surrender its chemical weapons stockpile. "When we see that the United States truly desires stability in our region and stops threatening and seeking to invade, as well as stops arms supplies to terrorists then we can believe that we can follow through with the necessary processes," Assad told Rossiya-24.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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