Syria "on schedule" to export chemical arms: task force

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Friday, April 11, 2014

The transfer of Syria's chemical weapons out of the country under an international accord is back on schedule, a maritime task force in charge of the operation said Friday.

"After a period without loading and retrieval of chemical substances from Syria, the operation is still on schedule," public affairs officer Simen Rudi said in an email.

On April 4, "the security situation was considered good enough and eight new containers" were loaded onto Danish cargo ship Ark Futura in Syria's Mediterranean port city of Latakia, Rudi said.

Another seven containers were loaded on Thursday.

"This means that the operation is still on schedule, but the previously mentioned security situation will influence whether the operation is completed at the estimated time or not," he said.

On April 3, an international coordinator told the UN Security Council that Damascus can still meet a June deadline for eliminating its chemical weapons but must resume the stalled transfers.

Syria suspended the transfers for what it said were security reasons.

Sigrid Kaag, coordinator for the international operation, warned that any new delay would make it "increasingly challenging" to stick to the June 30 deadline, according to diplomats in New York.

Damascus agreed in September to give up its chemical weapons under a deal to ward off the threat of US air strikes.

(AFP)

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