Iraq will help Libya eliminate chemical weapons

Ali al-Dabbagh, an Iraqi government spokesman, announced on Thursday that Iraq has accepted a request from Libya to aid in destroying Tripoli's chemical weapons.

Mohammad Jibril, Libya's representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, requested that Iraq offer assistance in the technical and diplomatic fields to eliminate the weapons under the supervision of the OPCW, AFP reports.

"(The Iraqi cabinet has agreed) to provide necessary technical assistance to the Libyan authorities to dispose of their chemical stockpiles, according to the procedures followed by the OPCW," al-Dabbagh said, according to AFP. "(Iraq has approved the request because Baghdad wishes) to provide the necessary assistance ... to Arab brothers at all levels."

Al-Dabbagh also noted Iraq's wide-ranging experience in the destruction of chemical weapons. Iraq became the 186th state party of the OPCW in 2009. The organization is the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention. In November, the organization said that Libya's National Transitional Council had pledged to continue the destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles that had started with the previous regime.

"Libya must now submit a detailed plan and completion date for destroying all of the declared materials to the OPCW not later than April 29, 2012, the date of the final extended deadline," the OPCW said in January, according to AFP.