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Mikdad: UN Responsible for Delays in Destruction of Chemical Weapons

Destruction of Syria's chemical weapons facilities continues, as foreign minister claims United Nations bears responsibility for any further delay
Mikdad: UN Responsible for Delays in Destruction of Chemical Weapons

Syria will continue with its program to complete the destruction of chemical weapons facilities, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad asserted.

“The delay in accomplishing the program is caused by the UN,” Mikdad added, speaking in a statement to Russia’s Sputnik news agency.

Mikdad stated that the destruction of underground bunkers that were used for the production of chemical materials is almost complete, stressing that three bunkers were already destroyed with a fourth currently facing demolition.

The minister said the destruction of hangars requires specific equipment that is being imported by the UN Secretariat Senior Management Group.

“Such being the case, any delay is not due to us but to the UN and the bodies that are working with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW),” he added, referring to the organization which Syria joined in October, 2013.

“We hope to finish the destruction of bunkers shortly and before the deadline,” said Mikdad.

Early February, the OPCW welcomed the dismantling of an underground facility used to produce chemical materials in Syria that was completed on December 31, 2014.

Syria has shown strong commitment to its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, having announced and destroyed sites and facilities used for the production and storage of chemical materials.

This commitment has been valued by head of OPCW-UN joint mission Sigrid Kaag on many occasions, most recently during her visit to Syria last September where she hailed the government’s “productive” and “fruitful” cooperation with the mission.

Kaag claimed the unprecedented accomplishment of the mission wouldn’t have been possible without the cooperation of the Syrian authorities.

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