Iraqi foreign minister discusses chemical weapons destruction

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari visited the headquarters of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on Wednesday to discuss a variety of issues related to the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Zebari's visit marked the first made to the OPCW headquarters by a foreign minister from Iraq since the country joined the CWC in early 2009. Zebari met with OPCW Director General Ahmet Üzümcü and discussed preparatory measures for the destruction of Iraq's remaining chemical weapons production facilities and stockpiles.
Zebari was also briefed on the OPCW's work with Iraq in the areas of CWC implementation support and chemical demilitarization. Zabari assured Üzümcü of Iraq's determination and commitment to meet its obligations under the convention and that the council of ministers of Iraq has authorized funding for the destruction activities.
According to Zabari, draft national legislation under article VII of the CWC is now before the Iraqi parliament and would be adopted in the near future.

Üzümcü commended Iraq for its active engagement with the OPCW and assured Zebari of the organization's full support to allow destruction activities to start as soon as possible.
“This is a very important visit, because my country has a number of obligations under a UN Security Council resolution to get rid of all weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons,” Zebari said. “Iraq joined the CWC in 2009 and has cooperated very closely with the OPCW to make sure that Iraq is clean, that it is free of these deadly weapons."