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U.N. authorizes plan to destroy Syrian weapons

UNITED NATIONS  — The Security Council has authorized a joint mission from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons — a necessary final step for the dangerous and unprecedented project.

The council president, Azerbaijan’s U.N. Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev, gave the authorization in a letter to the secretary-general early today, obtained by The Associated Press.

The council also gave a green light to the proposal outlined by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a letter to the council on Monday to establish a U.N.-OPCW mission, with approximately 100 staff, to carry out the destruction in three phases by mid-2014.

Earlier today, the OPCW was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to destroy Syria’s stockpiles of nerve gas and other poisonous agents.

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