THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. and Finnish companies won contracts for the disposal of Syrian weapons material, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Friday.
OPCW is operating under an international mandate to destroy Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.
OPCW Director General Ahmet Uzumco said Finnish company Ekokem and Veolia Environmental Services Technical Solutions, a U.S. company, secured contracts for the transport, treatment and disposal of Syrian chemical components.
OPCW said 14 bids were received. No value was disclosed.
"The conclusion of this process represents an important step towards the full destruction of Syrian chemical weapons," the organization said in a statement Friday.
The OPCW adopted a plan in November for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles. By December, the group, which received last year's Nobel Peace Prize, said it destroyed parts of buildings used to manufacture weapons in the city of Homs that were rendered inoperable during previous missions.
Robert Mikulak, U.S. envoy to the OPCW, said in a January statement the effort to get chemical agents and weapons precursors out of Syria "has seriously languished and stalled."