Thursday, September 19, 2013

Chemical Weapons Expert: U.S. Deadline for Syrian Chemical Weapons Is Contrary to International Law

Washington’s Blog
September 19, 2013

Given that the U.S. has now backed down from its insistence that a UN resolution on Syria include the use of force – and there are indications that Syria won’t meet the American deadline for declaring its chemical weapons – issues of timing and procedure have become more important than ever.

We interviewed a top chemical weapons expert to find out what the timeframe really means.

Specifically, we called Jean Pascal Zanders – widely recognized as one of the world’s top chemical weapons experts – to find out whether U.S. insistence that Syria has to declare all of its chemical weapons this week (and destroy them within a couple of months) was proper under international law.

Zanders explained to Washington’s Blog that the U.S. might have “preferences”, but  that the international community would decide …

“I think it’s really good that the concept of disarmament has been put center stage. But certainly, that was not the intention of Kerry and others.

Now we have a document which is a framework that gives a number of parameters that will be presented to the OPCW [the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons - which is the implementing organization for the Chemical Weapons Convention] at the Hague.

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