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Syria submits disarmament plan to OPCW

March 4, 2014 at 9:08 AM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, March 4 (UPI) -- Syria aims to remove all of the chemicals for use in a weapons program from its territory by the end of April, a chief weapons inspector said Tuesday.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said the Syrian government offered a plan to get chemicals and other weapons material out of the country to the mission overseeing the disarmament.

OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu said Syria is already behind where it needs to be in terms of disarming.

"It will be important to maintain this newly created momentum," he said from The Hague, Netherlands. "For its part, the Syrian government has reaffirmed its commitment to implement the removal operations in a timely manner."

OPCW said it was able to confirm shipments of mustard gas had left Syrian territory recently and similar evacuations were scheduled for later this week.

Uzumcu said about 30 percent of Syria's declared chemical weapons material have been removed from the country or destroyed since the OPCW's mission began last year.

"This is good progress and I expect further acceleration and intensification of effort," he said.

The OPCW adopted a plan in November for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles.

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