Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Key Syria Coordinator, White House Confer on Chem Removal Timeline
Destroying Syria's chemical weapons by a June deadline was the focus of a White House meeting with the disarmament effort's international overseer.
Deputy National Security Adviser Antony Blinken's Friday meeting with Sigrid Kaag, the chemical-removal operation's special coordinator, came more than a month after the Syrian government was scheduled to finish sending its chemical-warfare stocks to the port of Latakia for neutralization outside the country. Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime has blamed delays on threats to warfare materials in transit across the violence-ridden nation.
Blinken's discussion with Kaag "focused on ensuring the Syrian government maintains regular, substantial and uninterrupted activities to remove its chemical weapons to enable destruction in accordance with the June 30 deadline," National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.
The international chemical-arms watchdog on Friday said the speed of the chemical deliveries was increasing, and noted that 29 percent of the government's declared arsenal had been removed from the country. A revised schedule reportedly gives Assad's regime until April 27 to wrap up the deliveries to Latakia.
Damascus should maintain "systematic, predictable and substantial movements" of warfare materials, according to a statement by the 41-nation governing body of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
In Washington, though, the State Department said the Syrian government's faster chemical-arms movements might not save it from missing the mid-year completion objective.
"Recent shipments are encouraging signs that Syria is accelerating [chemical-arms] movements to Latakia, but the regime’s previous lack of action has put the June 30 deadline for elimination of Syria’s program at risk," spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a Friday press briefing.
Assad's government agreed to surrender its chemical arsenal after an August nerve-gas attack on the edge of Damascus prompted threats of armed intervention in the Syrian civil war.
Note to our Readers
GSN ceased publication on July 31, 2014. Its articles and daily issues will remain archived and available on NTI’s website.
June 11, 2015
U.S. government officials have been sharing information on the International Partnership for Disarmament Verification, an initiative of the U.S. State Department and NTI.
June 8, 2015
The UNSCR 1540 Resource Collection examines implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, which requires all states to implement measures aimed at preventing non-state actors from acquiring NBC weapons, related materials, and their means of delivery. It details implementation efforts in all of the regions and countries of the world to-date.
This article provides an overview of Syria's historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.