Syria’s authorities have formally accepted the modalities required for cooperation to ensure the proper, safe and efficient mission by the United Nations team investigating the alleged chemical weapons use in the Syrian conflict, the global body has announced.
“The departure of the team is now imminent,” Martin Nesirky, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman, said in a statement Wednesday.
“As agreed with the Government of Syria, the team will remain in the country to conduct its activities, including on-site visits, for a period of up to 14 days, extendable upon mutual consent,” the statement runs.
The UN on Monday denied media reports that chemical weapons experts have postponed their trip to Syria.
Spokesman Eduardo del Buey said the team “gathered in The Hague, and logistics for their visit are being worked out with the Syrian authorities.” UN sources have also confirmed to RIA Novosti that the planned visit was not delayed.
Russia submitted to the United Nations in July a comprehensive study of soil samples taken from the site of a reported chemical attack by Syrian opposition forces outside the northern city of Aleppo in March. The study determined that the nerve agent sarin had been used and that it had not been “industrially manufactured.”
Both sides in the ongoing Syrian civil war have traded allegations of chemical weapons use. Earlier reports by foreign experts claimed that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons on several occasions during the two-year conflict.
The United Nations has reported 13 alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria since the civil war began.