DAMASCUS, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) described the commencement of the removal of priority chemicals from Syria for destruction outside the country as "an important new phase" in the work of the OPCW-UN Joint Mission.
Ahmet Uzumcu made the remarks on Wednesday, a day after the OPCW-UN mission declared the removal of the first chemical materials out of Syria through the country's seaport of Latakia.
He noted that the movement has occurred after some delays in December caused by security concerns, the procurement and delivery of large quantities of packaging and transportation materials and equipment, and adverse weather conditions.
Despite the challenging circumstances, Syria has now received " virtually all of the necessary logistical resources for the ground transportation" of priority chemicals to the port of Latakia for removal from Syria by maritime vessels, he told the OPCW Executive Council.
On Tuesday, the OPCW-UN joint mission said a first quantity of priority chemical materials was moved from two Syrian sites to the port of the coastal city of Lattakia for verification and was then loaded onto a Danish commercial vessel.
It said coordination with the Security Council and Syria will continue to mobilize resources and undertake all the necessary steps towards the complete removal and elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons program, as agreed upon by the Syrian government and the OPCW.