Young Journalists Club | Latest news of Iran and world

News ID: 2181
Publish Date: 8:54 - 21 September 2013
The world's chemical weapons watchdog has begun on Saturday to examine details of Syria's chemical arsenal supplied by the regime, as rebels agreed a truce with jihadists in a key border town.
China urged a quick implementation of a landmark US-Russian deal to destroy Syria's chemical stockpile, as the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) tasked with dismantling the weapons said it has received an initial report from President Bashar al-Assad's regime on the arsenal.
In New York, UN envoys were due to resume talks on a draft Security Council resolution that would enshrine the plan to neutralise the lethal weapons.
On the ground, rebels agreed a truce with jihadists in a key border town, while a senior Syrian official said Damascus wanted a ceasefire in the 30-month war, which has killed more than 110,000 people and forced more than two million to flee.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Beijing would "support the early launch of the process to destroy Syria's chemical weapons".
He also called for a proposed peace conference in Geneva to take place "as soon as possible".
"We believe that a political settlement is the only right way out in defusing the Syrian crisis," he added.
The US-Russian plan to dismantle the chemical arms stockpile has helped prevent US-led military action following a chemical attack last month that killed hundreds of people and which Washington blames on the regime.
Under the plan, Assad's regime had until Saturday to supply details of its arsenal. 
On the eve of the disclosure deadline, the OPCW said it "has received an initial disclosure from the Syrian government of its chemical weapons programme."
Its Technical Secretariat is now examining the details, it said.
A UN diplomat said the OPCW had received the Syrian declaration on Thursday. "It is quite lengthy," he said.
The OPCW has postponed a meeting of its Executive Council set for Sunday that had been due to discuss how to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons programme.
Russia and the United States had brokered the deal which stipulates that the regime hand over the chemical weapons and facilities, which would be destroyed by mid-2014.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said he and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov spoke on the telephone Friday about a "strong" UN Security Council resolution on the deal.
"We talked about the cooperation which we both agreed to continue to provide, moving not only towards the adoption of the OPCW rules and regulations, but also a resolution that is firm and strong within the United Nations," Kerry said.
"We will continue to work on that," said Kerry.
The Security Council's five permanent members -- the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain -- have been wrangling over the text of the resolution since Monday in a bid to find common ground.
Russia, a key ally of Damascus, opposes all references to a possible use of force as sanction for non-compliance.
Meanwhile, jihadist rebels fought fiercely for the town of Azaz on the Turkish border before seizing it Wednesday from mainstream Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels.
The move by Al-Qaeda front group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) triggered the ire of the National Coalition opposition group.
It issued a rare condemnation of ISIS, accusing the jihadists of violating the principles of the anti-Assad uprising.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the Northern Storm brigade loyal to the FSA has agreed to a truce with ISIS.
Liwa al-Tawhid, another brigade loyal to the FSA, brokered the deal and sent fighters to deploy between the two sides in Azaz, the Observatory said.


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