Posted on October 11, 2013 at 1:06 PM
THE HAGUE, Netherlands—The head of a chemical weapons watchdog group says he hopes the decision to give the group the Nobel Peace Prize will help efforts to achieve peace in Syria.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is the group that is at work in Syria, trying to destroy that country’s stockpiles of nerve gas and other poisonous agents.
The group’s director-general, Ahmet Uzumcu (AHK’-met ooh-ZOOM’-joo) says, “Events in Syria have been a tragic reminder that there remains much work still to be done.”
He says the $1.2 million in prize money will be used to pursue the goals of the group, the elimination of chemical weapons.
The reaction in Syria to the award is polarized. A senior Syrian rebel called the award a “premature step.” A lawmaker from Syria’s ruling party declared the Nobel to be a vindication of President Bashar Assad’s government.