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Chemical watchdog seeks temporary Syria ceasefires: Chief

The chief of Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons says temporary ceasefires in Syria's civil war could be reached in order to meet tight disarmament deadlines

AFP , Wednesday 9 Oct 2013
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The head of the world's chemical weapons watchdog called Wednesday for temporary ceasefires in Syria's raging civil war in order to meet tight disarmament deadlines.

"I think if some temporary ceasefires can be established, I think those targets could be reached," Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons chief Ahmet Uzumcu told journalists in The Hague.

The OPCW has been charged with dismantling Syria's chemical arsenal and facilities by mid-2014 under the terms of a UN Security Council resolution drawn up after devastating nerve gas attacks in August.

Uzumcu said the timeline laid out for Syrian disarmament "is extremely tight".

Syria has won rare international praise for its cooperation with the chemical disarmament mission, deployed in Damascus since October 1.

"The cooperation with Syria has been quite constructive. The Syrian authorities are cooperative," OPCW Director General Uzumcu said.

Inspectors have already visited one chemical site in Syria and are visiting another on Wednesday.

"There are 20 sites to be visited in the coming weeks," Uzumcu said.

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