U.N. Officials to Visit Damascus on Chemical Weapons Allegations

UNITED NATIONS (dpa/MCT) -

A Swedish weapons expert and a United Nations official will visit Damascus to try to agree on methods for investigating allegations of chemical weapons use in the Syrian conflict, the U.N. said Thursday.

Ake Sellstrom, who heads a U.N. investigative team, and U.N. disarmament official Angela Kane are to visit Damascus to “complete the modalities” that would allow a U.N. team to begin its work on the ground in Syria, spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

Sellstrom and Kane on Wednesday accepted the Syrian government’s invitation to discuss the investigation.

The U.S. State Department welcomed the news, but noted the experts would only hold talks.

“These are just conversations, as we understand it, and clearly, the important step here is allowing them unfettered access,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Psaki noted a Security Council resolution has called for Syria to provide U.N. access to investigate credible allegations, which the Syrian regime has denied.