Oct 16, 2013 12:40 PM by AP (PHOTO: MGN ONLINE)

Sigrid Kaag to lead Syria chemical weapons mission

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Dutch Mideast expert Sigrid Kaag to lead the team charged with destroying Syria's chemical weapons and announced stepped up efforts to hold a peace conference on Syria in mid-November.

The U.N. chief appeared with Kaag at a briefing Wednesday shortly after U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky announced her appointment and the official establishment of the joint mission of the U.N. and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that she will lead.

Ban praised the U.N. Security Council for quickly approving the appointment of Kaag, saying that as the mission's special coordinator "she will be responsible for overseeing all activities on the ground undertaken by the OPCW and the United Nations personnel" from Cyprus.

Kaag has been the assistant administrator of the U.N. Development Program.

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