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UN Head: progress made in destruction of Syrian chemical weapons

December 29, 2013, 10:49 UTC+3 THE UNITED NATIONS
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THE UNITED NATIONS, December 29, 10:35 /ITAR-TASS/. Stable progress has been made in the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons despite a lag behind the schedule made for the withdrawal of the most dangerous highly toxic agents from the country until December 31, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said.

“The Secretary-General stresses that the international effort to eliminate the chemical weapons programme of the Syrian Arab Republic continues to make effective progress, as demonstrated by the steady achievements in meeting all previous milestones the past three months,” U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said in a statement made public on Saturday.

The Joint Mission of the United Nations Organisation and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) stated the withdrawal of the most important chemical agents is hardly probable before December 31. The lag behind the schedule is explained by the security situation in Syria, the weather and logistical difficulties.

“Despite this delay the Joint Mission continues to work closely and intensively with the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the assisting States Parties to begin safe and secure removal and transportation operations as soon as possible,” Martin Nesirky pledged.

According to the OPCW plan, all chemical weapons should be taken out from Syria before February 5, 2014. The most dangerous toxic agents will be destroyed outside Syria no later than March 31, other chemical agents - no later than June 30, 2014.

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