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UN weapons experts arrive in Damascus

Two senior UN inspectors tasked with examining claims that chemical weapons have been deployed in Syria’s civil war arrived in Damascus on Wednesday. Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom and Angela Kane, the UN high representative for disarmament, arrived at a hotel in the Syrian capital.
The pair are to hold talks with senior government officials during their two-day visit,

Damascus-based UN media and communications analyst Khaled Al Masri told AFP. Top of the agenda will be access to areas of the country where chemical weapons are alleged to have been used so that they can pursue their investigations.

A source close to the UN delegation told AFP on condition of anonymity that the experts were likely to meet Foreign Minister Walid Muallem later on Wednesday. Syria’s regime and rebels fighting to topple it have accused each other of using chemical weapons in the drawn-out conflict which has seen more than 100,000 people killed.

On June 11, the United Nations accepted an invitation from the Syrian government for a visit by the two officials for talks on chemical weapons. UN spokesman Martin Nesirsky gave a limited brief for the visit at the time. The two officials accepted the invitation ‘with a view to completing the consultations on the modalities of cooperation required for the proper, safe and efficient conduct of the UN mission to investigate allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria,’ he said.
Agencies

Agencies

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