WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Thursday blamed the Syrian government for slow progress in removing its stockpiled chemical weapons, urging Damascus to take "necessary steps" to expedite the process.
State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki expressed "deep concern" about Syria's failure to move all of its chemical agents, as mandated by UN Security Council resolution 2118, to its port of Lattakia for being transported to a ship in the sea for destruction.
"There should be no doubt that the responsibility for the lack of progress and increasing costs rest solely with Syria," she told reporters at a regular press briefing.
The executive council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, mandated to oversee the elimination of Syria' s chemical weapons, met on Thursday as the most dangerous chemicals had failed to be shipped out of Syria by Dec. 31, 2013, and another deadline looms for all other required chemicals to be removed by Feb. 5.
The whole process is set to be completed by June 30.
"In all of this time, the Syrian regime has moved less than 5 percent of the chemicals to the port," Psaki said, calling for Damascus to take "necessary steps" immediately to comply with its obligations.
"We all know that the Syrian regime has the capability to move these weapons, since they have been moved multiple times during the conflict," she added.
Washington and its allies accused the Syrian government of using Sarin gas in its battles against opposition forces last year, and once threatened air strikes on government targets inside Syria.
Russia broached the idea of removing from Syria its stockpile of chemical weapons, estimated at 1,300 tons as reported by the government.
The Syrian government and opposition delegates are engaged in their first round of talks in Geneva, the first since conflicts broke out in the country in March 2011.