The UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said “important progress” has been made on Syria’s banned weapons, but called on President Bashar al-Assad‘s government to “intensify efforts” to meet internationally set deadlines to eliminate its arsenal.
Activities on the removal of the most hazardous chemicals from Syria may last longer than expected, Franz Krawinkler, the OPCW’s logistics head, has said.
“Probably, there will be a delay for various external reasons, including weather. Some of the materials needed for the transportation of chemicals can’t be delivered on time,” Krawinkler stated in an interview to the Austrian ORF television and radio company.
The expert added that an ever-changing situation in Syrian battlefields also leads to delays.
According to a previously approved OPCW plan, the most hazardous chemicals are to be taken away from Syria by December 31, 2013.
“By December 31, which is real soon, we’re certainly not going to make it. Nobody knows when we start the removal of chemicals but I think I won’t be announcing it in advance in order not to tip off militants willing to wreck an operation,” he stated.
- Removal of chemical weapons from Syria will miss deadline: watchdog (worldnews.nbcnews.com)
- Removal of chemical arms from Syria delayed: watchdog (dailystar.com.lb)
- Russia: Syria weapons deadline won’t be met (dailystar.com.lb)