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All Conditions Created for OPCW to Work Normally in Douma, Russian Envoy Says

© AP Photo / Hassan AmmarPeople stand in front of damaged buildings, in the town of Douma, the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack, near Damascus, Syria, Monday, April 16, 2018
People stand in front of damaged buildings, in the town of Douma, the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack, near Damascus, Syria, Monday, April 16, 2018 - Sputnik International
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GENEVA (Sputnik) – The Syrian authorities have created all conditions for the normal work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons experts in Syria’s Douma, their safety is being ensured, Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva Gennady Gatilov said Monday.

"OPCW experts are currently on site to determine the truth. The Syrian authorities and representatives of the Russian military police are supporting them in every way. All conditions for them to work normally were created. First of all, from the point of view of ensuring their safety," Gatilov told reporters.

The Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva also said that the possible transfer of the talks on Syria under the UN aegis from Geneva to Vienna is not under consideration at present.

The Russian Foreign Ministry building. - Sputnik International
Syria Got Rid of Chemical Weapons, OPCW Confirmed Destruction - Russian FM
"Geneva remains the host of intra-Syrian talks. It would be logical to keep the negotiation process in this format… In any case, there is no talk about the transfer of the negotiation platform from Geneva to Vienna," Gatilov told reporters in Geneva.

Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl earlier proposed Vienna as an alternative host for the Syrian peace talks, which are being held in Geneva under the aegis of the United Nations.

According to Kneissl, Austria could also assume the role of a mediator in the Syrian conflict settlement, if it receives the appropriate mandate.

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