65 percent of Syria’s chemical weapons removed: OPCW

Damascus, April 14: About 65 percent of Syria’s chemical weapons have been removed so far, Syria-based joint mission of the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said Monday.

The statement said that the 13th consignment of chemical arms was delivered to Syria’s Latakia port and was shipped out on cargo ships Monday, raising the total removals to 65 percent, Xinhua reported Monday.

Ahmet Uzumcu, director-general of the OPCW, described these movements as “necessary and encouraging,” according to the statement.

Uzumcu said Syria had reaffirmed its commitment to meeting its obligations, adding that “both the frequency and volumes of deliveries have to increase significantly to restore alignment of actual movements against the projected time frame.”

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution in Sept 2013 to rid war-torn Syria of its chemical weapons.

Under the resolution, the OPCW was mandated to oversee the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons materials.

The UN-OPCW joint mission, which was formally established on Oct 16 aims to remove Syria’s chemical arsenal in the safest and most secure manner possible.

Western powers have recently accused Damascus of not living up to its pledges to quickly remove the chemical weapons, but the Syrian government, while stressing its commitment to its pledges to remove its chemical arsenal, accused Western-backed rebels of hindering the transportation of chemical weapons by attacking bases where the materials are stored.

IANS