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Libya Submits Report On Its Chemical Arms Scheme


Libya Submits Report On Its Chemical Arms Scheme, Setting Stage For Probe - UN

Meeting its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, Libya today submitted a complete initial declaration on those arms to the treaty's watchdog agency, a United Nations spokesman reported.

"Libya's declaration includes approximately 23 tons of mustard gas, one inactivated chemical weapons production facility, and two chemical weapons storage facilities," Fred Eckhard told the press. Tripoli acceded to the treaty at the beginning of this year as part of its overall renunciation of weapons of mass destruction.

He noted that this development "paves the way for the inspection and verification of its declaration."

The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons ( http://www.opcw.org/html/global/press_releases/2k4/PR8_2004prt.html OP CW), which monitors the pact, said experts would begin conducting inspections at all declared sites and facilities in Libya shortly.

A delegation of senior Libyan officials also turned in a destruction plan for these weapons and related production facilities. That text will be reviewed later this month by the agency's Executive Council.

Hailing Tripoli's full compliance with the treaty, OPCW Director-General Rogelio Pfirter said, "This is good for Libya, the region and the international community since it strengthens this multilateral disarmament regime and represents a tangible step towards the ultimate elimination of these weapons of mass destruction."

The destruction of Libya's chemical weapons and the capacity to produce them is set to be completed by 29 April 2007.

The UN Secretary-General is the depository of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

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