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OPCW to announce tender for eliminating less dangerous Syrian chemical agents

December 19, 2013, 9:41 UTC+3 THE HAGUE
The companies would be chosen after due assessment of their proposal from commercial and technical point of views
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OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu

OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu

© EPA/MARTIJN BEEKMAN

THE HAGUE, December 19. /ITAR-TASS/. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will announce a tender for the elimination of less dangerous Syrian chemical agents outside the country on Thursday. Any commercial enterprise may participate in the tender.

OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu said the choice of companies would be made after assessing their proposals from commercial and technical points of view with due regard for the timeframe that had been set. It is meant in this case that, in accordance with the OPCW Executive Council decision dated November 15, the chemical agents must be eliminated before June 30, 2014. Uzumcu added that the tender proper would be based on the fundamental principles of openness, transparency, and equality.

At present, the purpose-oriented foundation of the OPCW aimed to collect resources for eliminating chemical weapons outside Syria has €9.8 million available.

Earlier, Vasily Titushkin, Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative at the OPCW, told Itar-Tass in an interview that about €30-40 million would be needed for the elimination of chemical weapons outside Syria.

The OPCW Director-General did not mention this figure but said that a considerable sum would be required, and in this connection called on the member-countries to consider possibilities for channeling resources into a special purpose-oriented foundation for supporting a successful accomplishment of the complex task facing the Organization.

According to data available, more than 40 enterprises expressed readiness to take part in eliminating chemical agents from Syria.

As for the amount of chemicals, there is no clarity on that score so far. However, earlier reports estimated the amount at about 700-800 tonnes of chemicals and 7-8 million liters of reaction masses left after neutralizing Syrian chemical weapons aboard an American ship.

On Thursday, December 17, Uzumcu told the OPCW Executive Council that the basic parameters of a plan for eliminating the most dangerous chemical agents from Syria had been determined. The Plan envisions the provision of a ship by the United States for the neutralization process. Norway and Denmark will be in charge of chemicals’ transportation by sea from the Syrian port of Latakia. Italy gave a permission to use its port for chemical weapons reloading.

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