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Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the proposal to place Syria's chemical weapons under international control

EU News 395/2013

Brussels, 10 September 2013
A 451/13

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, made today the following statement:

“I welcome the proposal for the Syrian regime to hand over its chemical weapons and to place them under international control. This now needs to be fully worked up as quickly as possible including the details of its implications in terms of safe storage, verification and destruction. The EU stands ready to fully support any proposal and its implementation.

The EU is working closely with our international partners on this issue and I welcome the statement by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and the intention of France to introduce a Resolution in the UN Security Council to give effect to the proposal.

The EU calls on Syria to accede to the Chemical Weapons Convention and to ratify the Biological Weapons Convention as a matter of urgency. We look to the Syrian authorities to take full responsibility for ensuring that their chemical weapons are stored securely pending independently verified destruction and are not permitted to fall into the hands of any other State or non-state actor.

I hope that these developments will facilitate the resumption of efforts towards a political solution to the Syrian conflict. I urge all partners in the international community to seize this momentum to reinvigorate the process leading to the swift holding of a peace conference on Syria as proposed in the US-Russia initiative."