Despite Syria’s cooperation with stringent terms laid down by the United States and Russia for the destruction of its chemical weapons, a request from Syria to convert some of the facilities used in that program to other activities failed Friday to win the approval of the international chemical weapons watchdog.

Syria’s request, presented to the executive council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on Tuesday, called for converting facilities at 12 sites for use as storage points, but it found little support among the council’s 41 member nations, a European official following the discussions said.

Adopting language carefully drafted to avoid terms of rejection, council members meeting at the watchdog’s headquarters in The Hague on Friday decided that the request “was no longer pending,” the European official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity in line with diplomatic practice. “It’s a diplomatic way of saying no,” the official said. […]