10:24 13.09.2013

Al-Assad signs document on Syrian accession to Convention on Prohibition of Chemical Weapons - envoy

Syria has become a full member of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (OPCW), Syrian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bashar Al-Jafari told reporters.

He said the accession document was signed by President Bashar al-Assad, the Vesti.ru website reports.

The notice was sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on behalf of Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mualem, al-Jafari said. Earlier the reporters were shown an unofficial translation of the document, which promised Syria's "compliance with the provisions of the Convention."

UN Secretary General deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq said that the United Nations needed some time to study the letter. He said they had to determine whether or not the document could be regarded as an instrument of accession to the Convention and added they would be using certain legal procedures to determine this matter.

"Syria de jure becomes a full member of the OPCW Convention starting today," al-Jafari said.

The Syrian envoy to the UN also stressed that the Syrian authorities had considered their stock of chemical weapons as "means of deterrence against the Israeli nuclear arsenal," the Vesti.ru website said.

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