Syria: UN confirms progress in removing chemical weapons
New York, Apr 25 (IBNS): More than 90 per cent of Syria's chemical weapons material has been removed and destroyed in country, the head of the Joint Mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations on Thursday confirmed.
The Special Coordinator of the Joint Mission, Sigrid Kaag, welcomed in a statement “significant progress” over the last three weeks and thanked States for their “steadfast support” in pushing operations to 92.5 per cent.
“I strongly encourage the Syrian authorities to conclude the removal operations as part of their efforts to achieve the 30 June 2014 deadline,” she said.
The removal of the most critical material for destruction began in early January, in line with an agreement brokered by Russia and the United States under which Syria renounced its chemical weapons material and joined 1992 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons.
In addition to the removal operations, the Syrian authorities have destroyed buildings, equipment and empty mustard gas containers, and decontaminated other containers in a number of chemical weapons storage and production sites.
“A majority of these sites are now closed,” Kaag confirmed.
[Special Coordinator of the Joint Mission of the OPCW and the UN Sigrid Kaag (second left) inspecting preparations for the elemination of chemical weapons at the Syrian Port of Latakia in December 2013. Photo: OPCW-UN Joint Mission]
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