Syria handed over a detailed plan to destroy its chemical stockpile on time. Pictured: A man holds pictures of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Oct. 11 reading, 'We are all with you,' as Syrians and members of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) gather outside the US embassy in Pretoria, South Africa. (Alexander Joe / Getty Images)
THE HAGUE — Syria handed over a detailed plan to destroy its chemical stockpile on time, international watchdog OPCW said Sunday.
“On 24 October 2013, the Syrian Arab Republic submitted to the OPCW its formal initial declaration covering its chemical weapons program,” the watchdog said in a statement, adding that Damascus had had until Sunday to do so.
Damascus was required to submit the destruction plan under a US-Russian deal agreed last month that headed off military strikes on Syria.
The accord also gives Syria up to mid-2014 to destroy its chemical arsenal.
President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has already handed over an inventory of its chemical weapons and facilities, and international inspectors are already busy inspecting and destroying them.
The OPCW said a first monthly report of the international inspectors, covering their work on the ground since October 1, is ready and will be sent to the UN Security Council by UN chief Ban Ki-moon.
Syria’s latest disclosures “provide the basis on which plans are devised for a systematic, total and verified destruction of declared chemical weapons and production facilities”, said the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
“The document from Syria includes a general plan of destruction for consideration by the OPCW Executive Council,” it added.
The OPCW’s Executive Council will use the Syrian declaration to decide by Nov. 15 on “destruction milestones” for Syria’s arsenal.
Syria has also sent in a declaration of its chemical weapons activities and facilities, meeting its obligations as a new state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW said.