United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the receipt of a letter from the Government of Syria affirming that it will sign and abide by the 20-year-old international treaty on banning chemical weapons. A statement issued by Ban's spokesman in New York, confirmed that the UN chief received a letter from Damascus on Thursday.
The letter, the statement said, informed the U.N chief that "President Al-Assad has signed the legislative decree providing for the accession of Syria to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction of 1992."
"In their letter, the Syrian authorities have expressed commitment to observe the obligations entailed by the Convention even before its entry into force for Syria," the U.N. spokesman says in the statement.
In fast-paced developments this week, imminent U.S. led strike on Syria was averted by a Russian diplomatic coup which convinced the Assad regime to hand over its chemical weapons stockpile under international control and accede to the international convention banning chemical weapons.
The U.N chief has been a vociferous advocate of a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis, even in the face of U.S. insistence of punishing the Assad regime, for alleged use of chemical weapons, with or without U.N. Security Council sanction
"The Secretary-General welcomes this development," the statement says, noting that, as depository of the Convention, Ban has long called for universal accession to the treaty.
"Given recent events, he hopes that the current talks in Geneva will lead to speedy agreement on a way forward which will be endorsed and assisted by the international community," the statement concludes. Following the Russian proposal, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met in Geneva earlier on Thursday for further talks.
Meanwhile, Lakhdar Brahimi, the Joint UN -Arab League Envoy for Syria also met Secretary Kerry in Geneva to draw up a diplomatic solution for the impasse.
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