Libya and Syria top talks on chemical weapons between Ban and key official

Weapons collected after Libya’s National Transitional Council declared full liberation of the country. Photo: Giovanni Diffidenti

1 March 2012 – The destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles in Libya and the possible existence of similar stockpiles in Syria have topped the agenda during talks between Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the head of the international body dedicated to the removal of such weapons.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met yesterday with Ahmet Üzümcü, the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Mr. Üzümcü briefed Mr. Ban on the OPCW’s ongoing efforts to ensure the destruction of stockpiles of chemical weapons in Libya, where they built up under the former regime of Muammar al-Qadhafi.

Last year, following the downfall of the Qadhafi regime, the Security Council called on Libya’s interim authorities to work closely with the OPCW with the aim of destroying the stockpiles.

Mr. Ban and Mr. Üzümcü also discussed the situation in Syria, according to information released by a spokesperson for the Secretary-General, with the two officials noting with concern recent reports on the possible existence of chemical weapons in the Middle Eastern country.

In their meeting Mr. Ban also voiced appreciation of OPCW’s continuing efforts to try to ensure the complete and verifiable elimination of chemical weapons stockpiles and chemical weapons production facilities around the world.


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