NATO, Russian ministers back effort to eliminate Syria's chemical arms

BRUSSELS, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- NATO and Russian foreign ministers meeting in Brussels affirmed their support for a joint effort to destroy Syria's chemical weapons arsenal Wednesday.

The ministers also praised the work done by the joint mission of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons, the NATO statement said.


"We urge all parties to fully cooperate with the OPCW-UN Joint Mission and underscore the importance of the complete and verifiable elimination of all chemical weapons, material and equipment, in the soonest and safest manner" in accordance with OPCW and U.N. Security Council directives, the statement said.

The framework was developed by Russia and the United States in September.

Noting that the U.N. Security Council resolution recognizes that the Syrian government was primarily responsible for ensuring the safety and security for the OPCW-UN Joint Mission, "we urge all Syrian parties to cooperate with the OPCW-UN Joint Mission staff in the fulfillment of its mandate, including by providing unfettered access and a secure environment for its activities."

The statement also noted that the U.N. resolution stressed the only solution to the civil war in Syria was political and that the ministers "welcome the decision to convene the International Conference on Syria [Geneva II] on 22 January 2014."


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