Denmark, Norway accept Syria’s chemical weapons

Denmark, Norway accept Syria’s chemical weapons
Fri Dec 6, 2013 19:06:33

Denmark and Norway offered Friday to transport chemical weapons out of Syria for destruction.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Borg Brende, and his Danish counterpart Rasmus Helveg Petersen made the offer in a joint statement.

"We are now planning for a joint naval operation to ensure transportation of chemical weapons out of Syria," they said. "Removal of these heinous weapons from Syria is a critical task for the international community."

The operation will include naval frigates and specialized cargo vessels from both countries.

Sigrid Kaag, the head of international inspectors in Syria, told the UN Security Council this week the Syrian government would choose the ports from which foreign vessels would pick up the large quantity of chemical weapons material, estimated at 100 tons.

The task of transporting Syria's chemical stockpile out of the country for destruction is to begin in January.

It will be the final phase of operations by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to eliminate the stockpile.

OPCW said last month that the United States had offered to dismantle Syria's chemical arsenal aboard a US vessel at sea.

The Hague-based watchdog announced on October 31 that Syria had destroyed all its declared equipment for the production of chemical weapons.

The destruction of the equipment was the first step toward eliminating Syria's arsenal of banned weapons by mid-2014 under a September UN Security Council resolution backed by the United States and Russia.


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