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OPCW: Syria must expedite chemical weapons removal to meet deadlines

OPCW Director General Ahmet Üzümcü urged the Syrian government on Friday to expedite the removal of its chemical weapons "by increasing the volumes of chemicals to be removed." Üzümcü noted that the April 4 shipment was the first removal since March 20. "All relevant chemicals" must be removed from Syria by April 27.

By JC Finley
OPCW: Syria must expedite chemical weapons removal to meet deadlines
An advance team of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations arrives in Damascus, Syria, four days after the OPCW Executive Council and the UN Security Council unanimously endorsed a plan to begin the process of overseeing the destruction of the country’s chemical weapons program. The team, which includes 19 OPCW inspectors and 14 UN staff members, went into Syria over land from the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

DAMASCUS, Syria, April 8 (UPI) -- The UN-OPCW Joint Mission in Syria verified the removal of the twelfth shipment of chemical weapons from Syria on Friday.

Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, director general for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, commented on the removal of the chemical weapons and urged Syria to expedite the removal process.

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"This is the first shipment since 20 March. It is therefore important not only to follow this up with further rapid movements but also to make up for the lost time by increasing the volumes of chemicals to be removed."

In March, the Syrian government advanced the projected timetable for removal of "all relevant chemicals from its territory by 27 April 2014" in order to meet the June 30 destruction deadline set by the Executive Council and UN Security Council.

[OPCW]

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