UN chemical arms chief arrives in Beirut before Syria trip

By REUTERS
July 23, 2013 19:04

BEIRUT - The head of a UN chemical weapons investigation team arrived in Lebanon on Tuesday on his way to Syria to discuss his probe into allegations that chemical arms have been used in Syria's civil war.

Ake Sellstrom, a Swede, flew from Paris to Beirut and was due to drive overland to Syria, a source at Beirut's Rafik Hariri airport said, accompanied by the head of the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane. It was not clear exactly when they would make the short drive to the Syrian border.

Sellstrom's full team has not been allowed into Syria due to diplomatic wrangling over how much access it will have. His mission this week aims to reach an agreement for it to start work inside Syria.

Damascus is refusing to let them go anywhere apart from Khan al-Assal in Aleppo province, where Syrian President Bashar Assad's government, and Russia, say rebels used chemical weapons in March. Both sides deny using chemical weapons.


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