UN team completes logistical preparations for Syria chemical weapons probe

UN team completes logistical preparations for Syria chemical weapons probe
# 13 August 2013 20:17 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. A UN team tasked with investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria has completed all logistical preparations for its inaugural trip to the war-torn nation, the United Nations said on Tuesday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

"Over the weekend, the investigation team led by Dr. Ake Sellstrom completed all the necessary logistical arrangements for its visit to Syria," said a statement issued by UN spokesperson office.

In the meantime, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane has continued her consultations with the government of Syria "with a view to reaching agreement as soon as possible on the modalities essential for cooperation to ensure the proper, safe and efficient conduct of the Mission."

"Once the government of Syria confirms its acceptance of the modalities, the Mission will depart without delay," said the statement.

However, it has been nearly two weeks since UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky said the green light for the investigation followed "the understanding reached with the government of Syria" during a visit to Damascus of Kane and Sellstrom in late July.

According to Nesirky, the UN fact-finding mission, set up in March at the request of the Syrian government, will investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons at the Khan al-Asal town on the southwestern outskirts of the embattled city of Aleppo and two other sites.

The government and rebels blame each other for a purported chemical weapons attack on Khan al-Asal on March 19 that killed at least 25 people and wounded 130 others.

The locations of the two other incidents have been unknown yet because of a safety and security precaution. The UN investigation team's mandate is to report on whether chemical weapons were used, and if so which chemical weapon, but not to determine the responsibility of the attack.

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