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India offers $1 million aid to destroy Syria's weapons

Tuesday, 3 December 2013 - 1:44pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: IANS

India Tuesday offered to give $1 million for a fund to be used for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons and also the services of its experts to aid in the process scheduled to be completed by mid-2014.

In a statement, India said it has decided to offer a financial contribution of $1 million to the Trust Fund set up at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) at The Hague for use in the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons and related facilities.

"India would also offer the services of its experts to be used by the OPCW in the destruction/verification activity as well as training slots for the personnel participating in the UN/OPCW mission for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons," the statement said.

"India is an original state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention and as a possessor state it has completed the destruction of its chemical weapons in accordance with the Convention.

"India welcomes progress on the time-bound safeguarding and destruction of Syria's chemical weapons and Syria's accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention. India's assistance to the OPCW is a concrete demonstration of India's consistent position of support for the complete destruction and elimination of chemical weapons worldwide," the statement added.

Syria on Monday said efforts to get rid of its chemical weapons could fail if the international community does not contribute money and equipment.

Syria's deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad has said at a meeting of the OPCW that his country needs armoured vehicles and other resources to move chemicals out of the country for destruction.

The OPCW is aiming to dismantle Syria's entire chemical weapons programme by mid-2014.

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