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Syrian chemical removal deadline still achievable: coordinator

English.news.cn   2014-03-06 06:03:05

UNITED NATIONS, March 5 (Xinhua) -- The special coordinator overseeing the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria said on Wednesday that the end-of-June deadline for the total destruction of the program was still achievable.

Sigrid Kaag, head of the United Nations-Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Joint Mission charged with ridding the munitions from Syria, made the remarks following her briefing to the Security Council behind closed doors.

"The mission has concluded now that one third of the Syria's chemical weapons materials has been removed or destroyed and of course the statistics will change as we proceed," Kaag said.

During the next few days it is expected to reach "40 or 41 percent" of the removal and destruction combined of those chemicals materials, she added.

The coordinator stressed that a revised timeline has been submitted by the Syrian authorities aiming at full implementation between the middle and end of April, "in time, should all go well, to meet the overall deadline of June 30, 2014."

"We look forward to see continuous progress, but it remains hard work, a lot of dedication and of course continued commitment to implementation," Kaag said. "This has been assured by the authorities at the highest level that this will continue.

She also noted that the month of March is the "critical" month to look at continued progress towards the overall deadline.

On Tuesday, the UN-OPCW Joint Mission verified that two more consignments of chemicals left the port of Latakia, including a quantity of mustard gas -- a Priority 1 chemical.

Another movement, a significant consignment of other Priority 1 chemicals, is scheduled to arrive in Latakia during this week, which will bring the total number of movements so far to six.

In addition, Syria on Tuesday submitted a revised proposal to the OPCW that aims to complete the removal of all chemicals from the country before the end of next month.

Prior to initiating operations in January to remove its chemicals, Syria, in late 2013, completed the functional destruction of its chemical weapons production facilities, mixing and filling equipment, and all of its munitions that were designed for use with chemical warfare agents.

Damascus missed earlier deadlines in December and February. The UN Security Council and OPCW executive council earlier established the final deadline for the removal and elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons program as the end of June 2014.

Editor: yan
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