(MENAFN) The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has drawn international attention by urging its members to halt the supply of dual-use materials to Syria, reigniting concerns about chemical weapons in the country's protracted civil war. In response, the Syrian Foreign Ministry condemned the recommendation, dismissing it as "meaningless" and attributing it to alleged Western attempts to counteract "failed political campaigns" through the fabrication of chemical weapons incidents.
The OPCW's move comes as a potential setback for Syrian President Bashar Al Assad's efforts to re-engage with the international community, a prospect that had shown signs of progress following Moscow's intervention in 2015, which played a crucial role in thwarting a rebel offensive against the regime. This military intervention eventually led to the restoration of diplomatic ties between Damascus and several Arab states.
The recent decision by the OPCW, made after a meeting in Geneva, underscores the organization's concern about the "continued possession and use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Arab Republic." The OPCW accused Syrian authorities of failing to submit an accurate and complete declaration and to eliminate all undeclared chemical weapons and production facilities, highlighting the serious damage caused to the international convention that prohibits such weapons.
In response to these concerns, the OPCW has recommended that its approximately 190 members take steps to "prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer to the Syrian Arab Republic … of the chemical precursors and dual-use chemical manufacturing facilities and equipment and related technology." This move by the chemical weapons watchdog reflects a growing international unease over the persistent threat of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict and the need to address the situation to prevent further harm and potential violations of the international ban on such weapons.
As the OPCW's call reverberates globally, it prompts a reassessment of the complex geopolitical landscape surrounding Syria, with implications for regional stability and international efforts to curb the use of chemical weapons. The Syrian government's response underscores the challenges faced in finding a diplomatic resolution to the conflict and the deep-seated suspicions that persist among key stakeholders.
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