OPCW praises Russia for role in Syria CW removal

Foreign-backed militants operating in Syria (file photo)

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has praised Russia for its role in the removal of Syria’s chemical arms stockpile.

“We highly appreciate Russia’s efforts,” Ahmet Uzumcu, the OPCW head, said on Tuesday, adding, “Big work has been done.”

“The Syrian government asked for some assistance, and Russia along with other countries exerted rather serious logistical and financial support, offered some equipment and so on,” Uzumcu said.

The OPCW chief further noted that Russia and other countries, including the US, should continue to play a key role in the destruction of Syrian chemical arsenals.

This is while Russia has announced it would provide material and technical support to transport Syria’s chemical arms to another site for destruction.

Russia’s Ambassador to Syria Azamat Kulmukhametov said on December 19 that Moscow had deployed ten airplanes carrying equipment to assist in the elimination operation of Syria’s chemical arms.

He said that the aircrafts transporting the equipment had landed in the Syrian port city of Latakia.

Meanwhile, the OPCW and the United Nations said in a joint statement on Saturday that the deadline of December 31 for the removal of Syria’s chemical arms stockpile will not be met.

“A number of external factors have impacted upon timelines, not least the continuing volatility in overall security conditions, which have constrained planned movements,” the OPCW and the UN said.

The special coordinator of the OPCW-UN joint mission on eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons, Sigrid Kaag, said, “We continue to work with all state parties, particularly the Syrian Arab Republic, to intensify all efforts to… realize the goal of complete elimination of chemical weapons from the Syrian Arab Republic.”

Late October, Damascus destroyed its critical chemical weapons production equipment, meeting a November 1 deadline set by the OPCW Executive Council.

On September 14, Russia and the United States agreed on a deal according to which Syria would have its chemical weapons eliminated and the US would in return scrap plans to carry out strikes on the Arab country.

By Press TV


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