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Twelfth chemical weapons batch taken out of Syria

April 04, 2014, 22:00 UTC+3 THE HAGUE
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THE HAGUE, April 04, /ITAR-TASS/. The twelfth consignment of chemical weapons was on Friday taken out of Syria, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) reported.

“The OPCW-UN Joint Mission in Syria has confirmed that a 12th consignment of chemicals has been transported to the port of Latakia and removed from the country,” the OPCW said in a statement on its website.

The organization said this is the first shipment of chemical weapons removed from Syria since March 20.

“It is therefore important not only to follow this up with further rapid movements but also to make up for the lost time by increasing the volumes of chemicals to be removed,” OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Uzumcu said.

Work on chemical disarmament of the Syrian Arab Republic was suspended on March 20 due to clashes between Syrian government forces and militants near Latakia.

Fighting between Syrian government troops and rebels has left over 100,000 people dead and displaced millions since its start in 2011, according to UN statistics.

An international deal to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons, mediated in September 2013, prevented a likely US-led military intervention in the Middle East country.

The process of disarmament in Syria was launched after hundreds of civilians died in a chemical attack made on a Damascus suburb in August 2013. Syria’s chemical weapons are to be destroyed by June 30, 2014.

An international peace conference on Syria, dubbed Geneva-2, organized by Russia and the United States, kicked off on January 22 in Montreux, Switzerland. The conference, designed to negotiate a solution to the Syrian crisis, brought no particular progress after two rounds in January and February 2014.

The parties to the Syrian conflict agreed to continue their discussions.

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