Syria misses deadline for transferring its chemicals

Under a UN resolution agreed by Syria, the country must have handed over all its critical chemicals by Wednesday.

Syria misses deadline for transferring its chemicals

World Bulletin / News Desk

Syria has missed another deadline for destroying its chemical weapons stockpile on Wednesday.

As the former deadline had already been missed, February 5 became the deadline for the transfer of all critical chemicals from Syria.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) announced 'most critical' chemicals would leave Syria by the end of 2013, with the rest transported for destruction by Wednesday.

The resolution also imposes to Syria the complete elimination of all its chemical weapons material and equipment by June.

Meeting this deadline appears unlikely too, as the US says only four percent of the priority one chemicals have been destroyed.

Damascus agreed in September 2013 to comply with a timeline for the destruction of the country’s chemical weapons arsenal.

In October 2013, the OPCW was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its work in Syria, where a deadly chemical weapons attack in August killed 1,500 people just outside capital Damascus.

US calls on Syria to live up to chemical weapon accord

Following Syria’s failure to meet a critical deadline in the removal of its chemical weapons stockpiles, the White House on Wednesday emphasized Damascus’ responsibilities under the agreement.

“Well, I think we made very clear that the Assad regime has a responsibility to live up to the commitments it made. And those governments and nations that were instrumental in bringing about the agreement by the Syrian regime to give up its weapons for destruction need to fulfill their obligations,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told the press.

The chemical weapons agreement stemmed off potential military intervention by the U.S. following an alleged chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21.

Carney remarked that it is “very important” that Syria’s key ally, Russia, called on Bashar al Assad's government to remove a “substantial portion” of its stockpiles.

“Russia has staked a lot of credibility in the role that [it] played in helping bring about this agreement,” he said.

Carney added: “Russia played an important role with the United States in helping bring about that agreement, and all of our partners on this matter are going to continue to insist that the Assad regime fulfill its obligations.”

EU official urges active role in Syria crisis solution

Stefan Fule, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, said at the evening session of the European Parliament on Wednesday that EU countries should also take part in a political and humanitarian solution in Syria.

Stressing the importance of Geneva II, which aims to find a political solution in Syria, Fule stated the process continues to improve, despite being slow.

More than three million Syrians have been displaced and sheltered in neighboring countries, Fule said adding the plight of the refugees in Lebanon and Jordan is worse and the EU should support these countries.

Responsibility is not just restricted to humanitarian aid, Fule said.

Touching on photographs and reports that documented war crimes allegedly committed by government forces, Fule also stated that President Bashar al-Assad should be immediately brought to the International Criminal Court.

He also said EU countries, which host only one percent of the refugees, should accept more and provide a number of visa and residence permits.

Last Mod: 06 Şubat 2014, 09:32
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