OPCW calls on all Syrian parties to cooperate with weapon destruction

Ahmet uzumcu, the director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, called on all parties in the Syrian conflict on Wednesday to cooperate with the mission to destroy Syria's chemical weapons.

An advance team for the joint U.N. and OPCW mission started work on Sunday. Representatives from both the U.N. and the OPCW are overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical stockpiles and uzumcu urged cooperation so the team can carry out the work as fast as possible.

"We have urged all parties in Syria to be cooperative and to contribute positively to this mission," uzumcu said. "Much depends on the situation on the ground."

uzumcu, who made the remarks during a press conference in The Hague, said that the deadline to destroy the chemical weapons is extremely tight and temporary ceasefires would help the experts to carry out their work.

"I think that the elimination of those weapons is in the interest of all," uzumcu said. "Therefore, if we can assure some cooperation by all parties and some temporary ceasefires could be established in order to permit our experts to work in a permissible environment... I think the targets could be reached."

uzumcu said Syrian authorities were cooperative with the mission so far. The mission intends to destroy all chemical weapon capabilities in Syria by mid-2014.