NATO says could work with Russia on Syria chemical weapons

November 14, 2013 19:01

ISTANBUL - NATO and Russia will be jointly briefed next week on efforts to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons and could work together to support the process if asked, alliance Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said on Thursday.

The destruction of Syria's chemical weapons was discussed at a meeting of NATO and Russian defence ministers in Brussels in October, the first such meeting in two years, raising the prospect of cooperation between the former Cold War foes.

Vershbow said Sigrid Kaag - head of the joint United Nations-Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) mission to destroy Syria's chemical weapons - would fill in NATO and Russian officials next week.

"We are going to have a briefing to the NATO-Russia council ... to learn more about what they see as their requirements over the coming months," Vershbow told Reuters on the sidelines of a NATO industry forum in Istanbul.

"At this point we don't know whether they will be looking to NATO, or to NATO plus Russia, but allies have an open mind on that and we will know more after this informational briefing."

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