United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (L) and Sigrid Kaag, the newly appointed Special Coordinator of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-United Nations Joint Mission, attend a press briefing at the UN headquarters in New York, on Oct. 16, 2013. Ban announced here Wednesday the appointment of Sigrid Kaag of the Netherlands to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons program.(Xinhua/Niu Xiaolei)
DAMASCUS, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- The head of an international mission to strip Syria off its chemical weapons on Tuesday lauded Damascus' "strong cooperation," citing "very good" meetings she had with Syrian officials.
Speaking to reporters after meeting Syrian foreign ministry officials here, Sigrid Kaag said: "We've had a very good meeting with the Syrian government ... There is continuous, strong cooperation."
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN officially launched the joint mission to eliminate the chemical weapons in the war-torn country by mid-2014.
"To date, the government of Syria has fully cooperated in supporting the work of the advance team and the OPCW-UN joint mission," Kaag said, adding "allow me to thank the government of Syria for its cooperation and to express my gratitude to the Syrian people for their warm welcome."
Meanwhile, Kaag, who flew in a day earlier, told reporters that she was appointed "to ensure the destruction and the implementation of the destruction program as the Syrian government has agreed."
The OPCW have conducted inspection at 17 sites in Syria. At 14 sites, the inspectors carried out activities related to the destruction of critical equipment to make the facilities inoperable, according to a recent update by the organization.
DAMASCUS, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- The mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN has conducted verification activities at a total of 11 Syrian chemical sites, the OPCW said in a statement Wednesday.
"Activities have also included critical equipment destruction at six sites as well as some Category 3 weapons destruction," the statement added. Full story