US blames Syrian for delay in chemical weapons’ removal

Washington, Jan 31: The US Thursday blamed the Syrian government for slow progress in removing its stockpiled chemical weapons, urging Damascus to take “necessary steps” to expedite the process.

State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki expressed “deep concern” about Syria’s failure to move all of its chemical agents, as mandated by UN Security Council resolution 2118, to its port of Lattakia for being transported to a ship in the sea for destruction, Xinhua reported.

“There should be no doubt that the responsibility for the lack of progress and increasing costs rest solely with Syria,” she told reporters.

The executive council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, mandated to oversee the elimination of Syria’ s chemical weapons, met Thursday as the most dangerous chemicals had failed to be shipped out of Syria by Dec 31, 2013, and another deadline looms for all other required chemicals to be removed by Feb 5.

The whole process is set to be completed by June 30.

IANS