Mikdad to UN-OPCW Joint Mission Coordinator: Syria has always honored international commitments

Damascus, SANA-Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Dr. Fayssal Mikdad said Syria has always honored its international commitments, as made clear by its removing all of its chemical stockpile in record time.

Mikdad’s comments came during his meeting on Thursday with the UN-OPCW Joint Mission Special Coordinator Sigrid Kaag and the accompanying delegation.

The two sides discussed Syria’s “great achievements” in terms of its joining the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the subsequent transfer of chemical materials outside the country despite tough security conditions.

مقداد لكاغ 2

The removal process, which he hailed as an achievement, was followed through thanks to President Bashar al-Assad’s directives and the initiative proposed by the Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mikdad said.

The success is also attributable to the positive cooperation between Syria and the OPCW-UN Joint Mission, Mikdad affirmed.

“When Syria had been acting seriously and responsibly in approaching this file, some countries known for their enmity towards Syria had sought to politicize it and obstruct its unfinished phases,” Mikdad pointed out.

Kaag, for her part, expressed happiness over the achievement which, she said, “would not have been possible without the Syrian cooperation with the joint mission.”

Kaag hailed the Syrian government’s efforts to transport what remained of chemical materials and its bringing the file to its conclusion despite tough conditions in the country.

The success of the process is a shared one for Syria, the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Kaad noted, saying that what has been accomplished so far is the outcome of Syria’s serious approach in dealing with this file over the past nine months.

Syria became party to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in September 2013.

The Joint Mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations (OPCW-UN) declared the completion of removal of chemical weapons material from Syria on June 24.

Speaking to journalists following the meeting, Mikdad said it came after the success of having the mission of chemicals’ transfer outside Syria accomplished in due time, describing it as a shared success for Syria, the joint mission and its chairperson Kaag “who conducted her mission with wisdom, competence and faithfulness.”
Syria has been faithful all along in carrying out its commitments, Mikdad added. “We believe that little has remained, which needs efforts and not be politicized,” Mikdad said.

He blamed the delay in what remained unfinished on the “US and certain circles that seek to politicize the matter and forward agendas that have nothing to do with having what remained done with.”

He said Syria is willing to complete implementing its obligations on schedule, hoping that the OPCW executive body will soon take the implementation decision which he hoped would be unpoliticized and unpressured.

Mikdad extended thanks to the “Syrian heroes”, referring to the Syrian army personnel who he said went to great lengths for the mission to be accomplished amid extraordinary circumstances unprecedented in the world, commending their discipline and efforts.

Mikdad cited “great politicization” of the file, hoping that “Western countries, from an ethical and political standpoint, will take this new success into consideration.”

He cited a lack of optimism in this regard, considering the massive support that Western states are providing for terrorist groups and ignoring facts in Syria, a tendency that he said the West has shown a propensity to replicate as was the case with the terrorists’ sweeping advance across Iraq.

He hoped, nonetheless, that “a return to the conscience and political awareness of the dangers posed by the situation in the region will set in” in the countries that are supporting terrorism and gunmen in Syria and Iraq.
All facilities related to the chemical program are under the control of the Syrian army “and that we will maintain until the mission is ended,” Mikdad affirmed.

Kaag cited, in a similar statement, a “major headway” in getting rid of chemical weapons in Syria thanks to “constructive, constant and powerful cooperation with the Syrian government,” saying a clear will and commitment to make the process a success has been displayed all along.

“This process can be measured, calculated and seen…It is tangible to a great degree…I believe that June 30 will be remembered as a memorable day,” Kaag proclaimed.

M. Ismael

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