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Port facilities needed to destroy Syrian chemical weapons: OPCW chief

English.news.cn   2013-12-09 23:27:03            

OSLO, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Ahmet Uzumcu, director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), on Monday said his organization needed to determine a port which could properly handle chemical weapons agents shipped out of Syria for destruction on ships at sea.

"From now on, our inspectors, Syrian authorities as well as the UN staff are preparing for the transportation of chemical weapons outside of Syria," Uzumcu told a press conference.

Uzumcu, who won a reelection for a second term as the OPCW director-general last week, arrived in Oslo on Sunday to receive the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the the chemical watchdog based in the Hague.

Given the deteriorating security situations in Syria, the transportation will be an especially challenging operation, said Uzumcu. Nevertheless, he said that he hopes the operation will start soon.

"Once they were taken out of Syria, the destruction will take place on a ship at sea. They have to be transloaded at a port. This port is not yet determined," said the OPCW chief.

Uzumcu said the OPCW-UN joint mission in Syria encountered some technical challenges, which could delay their work. But the delay would not be more than a few days, he added.

The OPCW, which was set up in 1997, has been awarded the 2013 Nobel peace prize "for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons" in the past 14 years.

Since August this year, the OPCW has been in Syria with an aim to destroy its chemical weapon stockpiles.

Under a detailed OPCW plan, the most dangerous chemical weapon agents will be transported out of Syria by Dec. 31 this year while the rest will be shipped out for destruction no later than June 30, 2014.

Editor: An
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