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Syria: UN Consults as Chemical Weapons Team Wraps Up Probe

Syria: Ban Begins Consultations with UN Member States As Chemical Weapons Team Wraps Up Probe

New York, Aug 30 2013 - As the situation in Syria continues to rapidly evolve, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon cut short an official visit in Europe to return to the world body’s New York Headquarters for a series of consultations with Member States today, while UN inspectors are wrapping up their initial investigation into the possible use of chemical weapons in the war-torn country.

UN Spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters that Mr. Ban returned to New York last night “with precisely with the aim of reaching out to Member States and he started that…just a short while ago with the permanent members of the Security Council,” China, France, Russia the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Secretary-General gave the Council Ambassadors an overview of the work that has been done by Dr. Åke Sellström and other members of the chemical weapons inspection team which had arrived in Damascus on the 18th of August.

“[Mr. Ban] walked through the work that the mission has been doing since then, including of course what it has been doing specifically in response to the incident on the 21st of August in al-Ghouta,” Mr. Nesirky said.

“So really an important point here, is that now, the team has completed its collection of samples and evidence relating to the 21st of August incident and they are now packing up and they will be leaving Damascus and leaving Syria tomorrow,” the Spokesperson said, adding that the inspectors will be returning to The Hague, Netherlands, which is the headquarters of the Organisation of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

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