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OPCW urges contributions to destruction of Syria's chemical weapons

English.news.cn   2013-12-18 21:23:03            

THE HAGUE, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Wednesday called for contributions to a special fund for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.

The OPCW has set up a Syria Trust Fund to finance the destruction of chemical weapons by private parties outside Syria.

"According to the original rough estimate, we needed 35 to 40 million euros (48 to 55 million U.S. dollars) for that," OPCW spokesman Michael Luhan told Xinhua.

"But that is only for the pure destruction part, not for other parts like transport. It's difficult to make a total estimation. We have to decide case by case. Some private parties could also be paid directly by their national governments," said Luhan.

The balance of the trust fund currently stands at 9.8 million euros (13.5 million dollars). Contributions were received from several countries such as Germany, South Korea, Turkey and Britain.

"Given the significant amounts that will be needed, I call on all states parties to urgently consider contributing to the special trust fund to support the successful completion of this major task that lies ahead of us," head of the OPCW Ahmet Uzumcu said in a statement to the OPCW executive council on Tuesday.

Denmark and Norway will provide vessels and military escorts for the maritime transportation of the chemicals in Syria, and subsequently for the transportation of chemicals that are to be disposed of at commercial facilities. Finland, the United States, Russia and China also pledged help.

Not all chemicals will be destructed by private parties. The United States will provide facilities and pay for the neutralization of priority chemicals, the most toxic chemicals, aboard of one of its own vessels at sea.

Uzumcu on Tuesday submitted a plan for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons outside the country that aims to meet a deadline to dispose of the priority chemicals by March 31, 2014, and other commodity chemicals by June 30, 2014.

Uzumcu cautioned that schedules were disrupted by a combination of security concerns, clearance procedures in international transit, and even inclement weather conditions, warning of possibilities of delays.

According to a timeline agreed upon earlier, the stockpiles should be removed by the end of this year. The deadline is set to be missed.

Editor: Zhu Ningzhu
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