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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

OPCW to discuss new destruction plan for Syrian chemical weapons early March

21 February 2014, 21:19

Syria has presented a new plan for the destruction of its chemical weapons, according to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The OPCW has received a new chemical weapons destruction plan from Syria and is studying it, OPCW spokesman Michael Luhan said on Friday.

The OPCW Executive Council will debate the plan during its session on March 4-7, he said.

Luhan did not say whether the new plan stipulated the rescheduling of the initial time framework for Syria's chemical disarmament.

Under the existing plan, all of Syria's chemical arsenals are to be destroyed by June 30.

Finnish and US companies win tender on Syrian chemical weapon annihilation – OPCW

Finnish company Ekokem OY AB and the US company Veolia Environmental Services Technical Solutions won a tender for the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons, Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), stated today.

Fourteen companies, including Russia's 'Vector', competed to obtain the tender.

The above-mentioned companies will have to annihilate 800 tons of industrial chemicals and several million liters of reactionary substances that appeared after a chemical weapon was annihilated on the board the US Cape Ray.

EU to consider possibility of depositing frozen Syrian assets into OPCW fund - Ashton

The foreign ministers of the European Union are considering the possibility of unfreezing Syrian assets, which were blocked by the EU sanctions, to finance the OPCW fund for the Syrian chemical weapons destruction, head of EU diplomacy Catherine Ashton has said Tuesday.

'We decided to make sure that assets frozen in the EU could be invested into the OPCW fund to help with the removal and destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons,' Ashton said, informing the EU MPs about the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council held in Brussels yesterday.

Most dangerous Syrian chemical weapons will be removed by March 1 - Syrian ambassador

Most chemical weapons, including their most dangerous components, will be removed from Syria before March 1, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad said.

'It is absolutely true, a larger part of our chemical weapons, its most dangerous part, will be removed before March 1,' he said on Tuesday.

Under the United Nations Security Council Resolution N2118 the removal should be completed before June 30, Haddad said.

'I think we shall meet this deadline,' the head of the Syrian diplomatic mission said.

Syria destroys 93% of its isopropanol - OPCW

Syria's government recently destroyed 93 percent of the country's isopropanol stockpiles, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said on Monday.

'The movement of the third consignment of chemicals from Syria took place today,' the OPCW said in a statement.

'The Director-General, while noting this movement and the recent destruction of 93 percent of the Isopropanol, has expressed hope that these activities generate new momentum,' the statement said in citing CPCW chief Ahmet Uzumcu.

'A significant effort is needed to ensure the chemicals that still remain in Syria are removed - in accordance with a concrete schedule and without further delays - consistent with the obligations of the Syrian Arab Republic deriving from the OPCW Executive Council decisions and UN Security Council Resolution 2118,' the statement said.

Third shipment of chemical weapons leaves Syria

The third shipment of Syrian chemical weapons has taken place, the Reuters news agency reports on Monday citing an OPCW statement.The Dutch and Norwegian vessels Ark Futura and Taiko have been taking away the Syrian chemical arsenal from the port of Latakia since January 7. Two consignments have already been completed.

According to an initial plan, the toxic cargo was to be removed from Syria before December 31, 2013, but due to the unstable situation in the country, that didn't happen.

In line with the OPCW schedule, around 20,000 tons of toxic mustard gas have to be removed by March 31, 2014, and the entire chemical arsenal has to be destroyed by the end of 2014.

UN told Syria must accelerate chemical arms shipments - envoy

The head of the international chemical weapons mission in Syria told the UN Security Council on Thursday that, with the deadline looming for the elimination of the government's toxic arsenal, accelerated cooperation is vital, a diplomat said.

The remarks came from Sigrid Kaag, head of the joint mission, by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), that is overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical arsenal.

'With the deadline on the horizon, it is essential that Syria accelerates' shipments of toxic chemicals out of the country, Kaag told a closed-door briefing of the 15-nation Security Council, a diplomat attending told Reuters on condition of anonymity. The 'Time for action is now.'

Voice of Russia, Interfax, TASS

Source: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_21/ OPCW-to-discuss-new-destruction-plan-for- Syrian-chemical-weapons-early-March-4725/



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