UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon received a letter from Damascus on the Syrian intention to join the international convention banning chemical weapons and welcomed the initiative, his spokesperson said on Friday, RIA Novosti reported.
"The Secretary-General has today received a letter from the Government of Syria, informing him that President [Bashar] Assad has signed the legislative decree providing for the accession of Syria to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction of 1992," the spokesperson said in a statement.
In its letter to Ban Ki-moon on Thursday, the Syrian authorities said their country, which is not a signatory to the convention, agreed to comply with the agreement's provisions before officially signing it.
"The Secretary-General welcomes this development, noting that, as depository of the Convention, he has long called for universal accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention," the statement added.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who met on Thursday in Geneva with US Secretary of State John Kerry for talks on Syria, welcomed earlier Damascus' initiative and warned against protracting Syria's accession to the convention.