UN says accord reached on Syria chemical arms

Agreement to probe use of chemical weapons reached after UN envoys hold talks with officials in Damascus.

    Angela Kane, UN high representative for disarmament, visited Damascus on Wednesday for talks [Reuters]
    Angela Kane, UN high representative for disarmament, visited Damascus on Wednesday for talks [Reuters]

    The United Nations said it had reached an agreement with Syria on an inquiry into the use of chemical weapons, but did not say UN inspectors would be allowed in.

    Two UN envoys went to Damascus on Tuesday for two days and held talks with Syria's deputy prime minister and foreign minister, a brief UN statement said.

    "The discussions were thorough and productive and led to an agreement on the way forward," Friday's statement said, without giving any other detail. It did not say UN inspectors would be allowed in.

    Ake Sellstrom, the chief inspector in the UN investigation team, and Angela Kane, the UN high representative for disarmament, were to report to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the trip.

    Ban has demanded widespread access to investigate all allegations of the use of chemical weapons in the 28-month-old conflict. Syria has insisted that the UN only investigate its claim that rebels used chemical weapons in the town of Khan al-Assal on March 19.

    The UN says it has received reports of 13 chemical attacks in the conflict.

    Britain, France and the United States say all the attacks were carried out by President Bashar al-Assad's forces. Russia, Assad's main ally, says its inquiry found that rebels used sarin gas in Khan al-Assal.

    SOURCE: AFP


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