Norway mulls disposal of 600 tons of Syrian chemical weapons

Oct. 21, 2013 at 10:15 AM

OSLO, Norway, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- The United Nations has asked Norway to dispose of 600 tons of chemical weapons from Syria, but officials say they are uncertain they have the expertise needed.

The consignment would include about 550 tons of the nerve gas sarin and 55 tons of mustard gas, TheLocal.no reported Monday.

"Norway is now considering whether it is possible to assume a role in the destruction," foreign minister Borge Brende said Sunday. "We have appointed a team of experts who will investigate over the coming days if this is possible to do in Norway."

Norway is among eight members of the U.N. Security Council that have been asked to receive portions of the chemical weapons inventory that Syrian President Bashar Assad agreed to surrender last month.

The 550 tons of sarin Norway has been asked to accept constitutes about half of Syria's inventory of chemical weapons.

Christian Tybring-Gjedde, a leader of the Progress Party, a partner in the coalition government, immediately criticized the request.

"I do not see the point of bringing weapons into Norway," he said. "We have so far as I know never produced any chemical weapons, and I doubt we have the expertise to destroy them."

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