x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Syria says it 'has nothing to hide' on eve of UN chemical weapons inspection

Syria's government says it has nothing to hide from a UN team of chemical weapons inspectors that are expected to visit the war-ravaged country in the coming days.

DAMASCUS // Syria's government said yesterday it had nothing to hide from a UN team of chemical weapons inspectors that are expected to visit the war-ravaged country in the coming days.

The announcement came a day after the United Nations said a team of inspectors led by the Swedish arms expert, Ake Sellstroem, would soon depart for Syria after getting the green light from Damascus.

"There were no difficulties in the negotiations and Syria said it was ready to give the team all the facilities it needed to carry out its mission," a UN official said. "Syria has nothing to hide."

The spokesman for the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said the team would investigate the sites of alleged chemical weapons attacks for two weeks.

The mission had been delayed over differences with the government over the scope of the inquiry into the use of chemical arms.

The United Nations last month reached a framework agreement with the Syrian government on the mission, but it had been awaiting a final green light from Damascus.

Elsewhere in Syria yesterday, Al Qaeda militants killed two Shiite teenagers whom they accused of being pro-government gunmen.

 

* Agence France-Press and Associated Press