UNITED NATIONS, April 14 (Xinhua) -- The international mission in charge of removing chemical weapons in Syria has voiced its concerns that Syria has missed the April 13 deadline, which Damascus pledged to get rid of all its stockpiles of chemical weapons by Sunday, a UN spokesman told reporters here Monday.
In response to questions about Syria's pledge to remove all chemical weapons by April 13, except those in "inaccessible areas", UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here that the Joint Mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations (OPCW-UN) said "they were concerned that Syria has missed the 13 April timeline."
"It expects an intensification of efforts and immediate action to initiate the high pace and scale of operations for the removal of all chemical weapons materials as safely as possible by 27 April," Dujarric said. "Missing the 27 April timeline could have serious impact on the completion of the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons program by 30 June."
"It is up to the member states to discuss the progress of the operation, based on factual input from the Joint Mission," he said, adding that the current pace "is of serious concern" for the mission.
Earlier Monday, the OPCW said in The Hague that about 65 percent of chemical weapons have been removed from Syria.
"The Syrian government has completed the delivery of another 13th batch of chemical agents. It was put on a ship and taken out of the country," the organization said. "The previous batch was evacuated on April 10."
All in all, the amount of chemical weapons removed from Syria has achieved 65.1 percent, including 57.4 percent priority ones, which are the most risky, the OPWC said.
The removal of the most critical material for destruction began in early January, in line with an agreement brokered by Russia and the United States under which Syria renounced its chemical weapons material and joined 1992 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons.
65 pct of Syria's chemical weapons removed: statement
DAMASCUS, April 14 (Xinhua) -- About 65 percent of Syria's chemical weapons have been removed from Syria so far, the Syria- based joint mission of the UN and the organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said in a statement on Monday.
The statement said the 13th consignment of chemicals was delivered to Syria's Latakia port and was shipped out on cargo ships on Monday, raising the overall total of removals to 65 percent. Full story