06:38 GMT05 December 2020
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    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said he would welcome the participation of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Director-General Fernando Arias in the next UN Security Council open meeting on the Syrian chemical dossier.

    "We can only welcome such an initiative, and we expect that Mr. Arias will join us in the next council meeting on resolution 2118 [on the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons], which we will insist to hold open," Nebenzia, who presides with the UN Security Council during the month of October, said on Friday.

    Earlier in the month, Russia invited the first OPCW Director-General Jose Bustani to take part in an open meeting on the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict.

    However, Belgium, France, Germany, Estonia, the United Kingdom and the United States blocked Bustani’s participation and insisted that Arias should brief the UN Security Council when it reconvenes in November.

    Bustani, a Brazilian diplomat, led the OPCW from 1997 to 2002 and served as the organization’s first director-general. His early departure from the OPCW was on the initiative of the United States.

    Bustani said the United States expressed dissatisfaction with his work after he had invited Iraq to join the OPCW given that the country’s membership would prevent the US plans to overthrow its former leader Saddam Hussein.

    chemical attack, chemicals, Vassily Nebenzia, Syria, UN
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