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Syrian opposition group at UN for General Assembly

The trip comes after the US and Russia hammered out a deal under which Syria will turn over its chemical weapons for destruction

AFP , Sunday 22 Sep 2013
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A delegation from the Syrian opposition National Coalition has arrived in New York ahead of the United Nations General Assembly, the grouping said on Sunday.

Delegates include the Coalition's president Ahmad Jarba, as well as prominent members Michel Kilo and Burhan Ghalioun.

A spokeswoman for the Coalition declined to give details of the schedule for the trip, which lasts until 1 October, but said it would include meetings with international representatives.

The trip comes after the United States and Russia hammered out a deal under which Syria will turn over its chemical weapons for destruction.

On Saturday, Damascus handed over the remaining details of its chemical arsenal to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is overseeing the deal.

The agreement warded off planned US military action against Damascus in response to an 21 August chemical weapons attack that reportedly killed hundreds of people.

But the five permanent members of the UN Security Council are still haggling over the wording of a resolution that would enshrine the deal.

Britain, France and the United States want a tough resolution that would allow for sanctions or the use of force if Syria fails to implement the deal.

But Russia, a staunch ally of the Syrian regime, opposes any mention of the use of force.

Much of the international community has blamed the Syrian regime for the August attack, an accusation it denies.

The Syrian and Russian governments have said there is evidence that the rebels were behind the attack, which UN chemical weapons inspectors said involved the use of the deadly poison sarin. 

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