NATO, OPCW review Syrian weapons plan

BRUSSELS, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- NATO's secretary-general said Wednesday a mission tasked with eliminating Syria's chemical weapons cache needs the international community's full support.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen met Wednesday in Brussels with Sigrid Kaaq, special envoy for the joint U.N.-Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons mission for Syria. Rasmussen, acting Wednesday as the chairman of the NATO-Russia Council, expressed his full support for Kaaq's mission.


There was no public transcript from the meeting. NATO said in a statement Wednesday the joint mission requires the "international community's full support and the Syrian authorities' full compliance" with relevant Security Council resolutions.

The OPCW adopted a plan Friday for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles. It said declared chemical substances and chemical weapons precursors should be out of Syria no later than Feb. 5. According to the plan, all of Syria's chemical weapons will be transported outside the country to ensure their destruction no later than June 30.

OPCW Director General Ahmet Uzumcu said the Syrian government submitted to it a plan for the destruction of its chemical weapons arsenal. "The most viable option available" is to destroy those weapons outside of Syria because of the security situation, he said.


Albania was considered as an early designation. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said Friday his government was willing to be involved in the operation but lacked the internal capacity to participate directly.

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