UNITED NATIONS, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Approximately 80 percent of the chemical weapons materials have been shipped out of Syria or destroyed, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said at a regular news briefing held Monday.
According to Dujarric, Sigrid Kaag, the special coordinator of the Joint Mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations, had issued a statement announcing the progress in this regard.
In the statement, Kaag said further engagement is expected to sustain momentum and to complete removal operations in the next few days, with a view to concluding the entire elimination of the country's chemical weapons program within the deadlines set by the OPCW Executive Council.
This will contribute to meeting the deadlines set by the OPCW Executive Council, including the June 30 target date for completing the destruction of Syria's entire chemical weapons program.
"The renewed pace in movements is positive and necessary to ensure progress towards a tight deadline," said Kaag.
The statement also noted that Syria has further completed destruction of empty mustard gas containers, and made progress in closing chemical weapons production and storage sites.
The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution in September last year to rid the war-torn Middle East country of its chemical weapons. Under the resolution, the OPCW was mandated to oversee the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons materials. The removal of the most critical material for destruction began in early January.