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OPCW Syria disarmament plan: Most toxic chemicals to be destroyed at sea

The final plan for eradication of toxic Syrian chemical arsenal has been mapped by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

The Hague: The final plan for eradication of toxic Syrian chemical arsenal has been mapped by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) which will see Russia, US and a bunch of other countries coming together to facilitate the herculean task of destroying the deadly agents.

In a rare but brilliant show of international camaraderie, many nations including the US, China, Russia, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Italy have joined hands to chip in with their contributions, making it a global collaboration effort.

The most toxic chemicals, which fall into Category One chemicals, will be destroyed aboard a US ship MV Cape Ray.

The chemicals will be ferried outside Syria by Russian armoured trucks, which will be tracked by US GPS locators and Chinese surveillance cameras.

China will also be helping with 10 ambulances.

The US will provide for over 3000 containers for transportation of the chemicals, other than providing the loading and decontaminating equipments.

Though the details of the plan remain confidential, the head of the Nobel Prize winning watchdog, Ahmet Uzumcu presented the salient features of the plan on Tuesday at a meeting of its Executive Council.

The mammoth onus of the destruction of the 1000-ton chemical stockpile in a war-ravaged country has been shouldered by the UN and the OPCW jointly and despite the slow pace of the process, the watchdog has decided not to shift the deadlines.

However, Uzumcu pre-empted further delays because of a combination of security concerns, clearance procedures in international transit and even inclement weather conditions".

He added that the fighting in the Qalamoun mountains near the highway linking Damascus and the city of Homs "pose risks to the timely execution of the operation".

The OPCW plan calls for the removal of the most toxic chemicals - mustard gas, sarin and VX nerve gas - from Syria by by Dec 31 and their destruction by March 31.

All chemicals are to be destroyed by June 30.

Denmark and Norway are providing two navy frigates to transport the chemicals out of Latakia and Finland will be ready with a chemical weapons emergency-response team.

As far as the funds are concerned, the OPCW says that it has in its kitty funds worth $ 13.47 milion for the gigantic task of chemical weapons destruction.

However, more funds are required and Japan has vowed contributing $15 million for the purpose after parliamentary approval, said Uzumcu.

From Zee News

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