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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Sends Chemical Weapons Cop Packing

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- The head of a global body policing a chemical weapons ban was ousted on Monday in a victory for a campaign by the United States to replace him over a dispute on arms inspections in Iraq.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW, voted to remove its Brazilian director Jose Bustani after delegates from some of the organization's 145 member states gathered in The Hague to consider his future, spokesman Peter Kaiser said.

The U.S. proposal to oust Bustani secured 48 votes, while 43 countries abstained. Six voted against the proposal.

The United States was determined to oust Bustani over his attempts to woo Iraq into joining the organization and submitting to new weapons inspections.

U.S. officials say those inspections would be too soft on Baghdad, and analysts believe Washington was concerned they might created an obstacle to a possible U.S. military attack on Iraq.

The OPCW's director vowed not to bow to U.S. pressure to resign at a three-day crisis meeting that started on Sunday, and accused Washington of riding roughshod over the independence of a global organization.

The United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain and Italy contribute the lion's share of the OPCW's 60 million euro ($55 million) annual budget. France was the only major donor that did not officially back the U.S. proposal before the vote.