Syria has reportedly turned over information outlining its weapons program to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

From the Associated Press:

Syria has sent the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons an “initial declaration” outlining its weapons program, the organization said Friday.

Spokesman Michael Luhan told The Associated Press that the declaration is “being reviewed by our verification division.” The organization will not release details of what is in the declaration.

The OPCW, which polices the treaty outlawing chemical weapons, is looking at ways to fast-track moves to secure and destroy Syria’s arsenal of poison gas and nerve agents as well as its production facilities.

The Framework for Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons, which was published on September 14th, indeed required an inventory of Syria’s chemical weapons within one week of the announced plan.

The United States and the Russian Federation expect Syria to submit, within a week, a comprehensive listing, including names, types, and quantities of its chemical weapons agents, types of munitions, and location and form of storage, production, and research and development facilities.

(Of course, the US State Department the other day backed off that one week timeline).

Russian president Vladimir Putin said yesterday that he can’t guarantee Syria will give up its chemical weapons or that Syria will stick entirely to the agreed upon plan, saying, “Up to now everything looks as if Syria completely agreed with our plan.… But I can’t say whether we will manage to complete the process by 100%,” according to the LA Times.

As the AP indicates, things aren’t necessarily moving so quickly otherwise.

However, diplomatic efforts to speed up the process are moving slowly. A meeting initially scheduled for Sunday at which the organization’s 41-nation executive council was to have discussed a U.S.-Russian plan to swiftly rid Syria of chemical weapons was postponed Friday and no new date was immediately set. No reason was given for the postponement.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see what’s actually included in Syria’s “initial declaration.”


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