DAMASCUS: The world’s chemical weapons watchdog has begun on Saturday to examine details of Syria’s chemical arsenal supplied by the regime, as rebels agreed a truce with jihadists in a key border town.
China urged a quick implementation of a landmark US-Russian deal to destroy Syria’s chemical stockpile, as the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) tasked with dismantling the weapons said it has received an initial report from President Bashar al-Assad’s regime on the arsenal.
In New York, UN envoys were due to resume talks on a draft Security Council resolution that would enshrine the plan to neutralise the lethal weapons.
On the ground, rebels agreed a truce with jihadists in a key border town, while a senior Syrian official said Damascus wanted a ceasefire in the 30-month war, which has killed more than 110,000 people and forced more than two million to flee.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Beijing would “support the early launch of the process to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons”.
He also called for a proposed peace conference in Geneva to take place “as soon as possible”.
“We believe that a political settlement is the only right way out in defusing the Syrian crisis,” he added.
The US-Russian plan to dismantle the chemical arms stockpile has helped prevent US-led military action following a chemical attack last month that killed hundreds of people and which Washington blames on the regime.
Under the plan, Assad’s regime had until Saturday to supply details of its arsenal.