UN confirms removal of first batch of chemical weapons from Syria

The materials were loaded onto a Danish commercial vessel today.


Web Desk January 07, 2014
Danish frigate involved in Danish-Norwegian plan to oversee shipping of chemical agents from Syria. 155 tonnes of chemicals is to be shipped out of Syria in January. PHOTO: REUTERS

United Nations on Tuesday confirmed that the joint teams of UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had removed the first batch of chemical weapons from Syria on Tuesday.



A statement issued by the UN added that:

"A first quantity of priority chemical materials was moved from two sites to the port of Lattakia for verification and was then loaded onto a Danish commercial vessel today. The vessel has been accompanied by naval escorts provided by Denmark and Norway, as well as the Syrian Arab Republic."

The statement further read that the vessel had left for international waters and "will remain at sea awaiting the arrival of additional priority chemical materials at the port."

"Maritime security is being provided by naval escorts from the People’s Republic of China, Denmark, Norway and the Russian Federation."

The UN had missed their initial deadline of removing chemical weapons by December 31, 2013.

The UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said “important progress” has been made on eliminating Syria’s banned weapons, but called on President Bashar al-Assad’s government to “intensify efforts” to meet internationally-set deadlines.

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