(FINNBAY-ANSAmed) – Rome, 25 April 2014. Damascus completed the transfer on Thursday of almost 92% of its chemical arsenal slated for destruction, ANSA was told by OPCW sources.
The Danish cargo ship Ark Futura has taken aboard 96% of priority 1 chemical agents, which will be sent to the Italian port Gioia Tauro to be transferred to the US ship Cape Ray for destruction.
Some 4% of the priority 1 agents and 19% of priority 2 ones (to be destroyed by Finland and the US) are at sites currently inaccessible for security reasons.
Despite security problems on the road between Damascus and Homs, where the last consignment will be transferred from, Syria may thus comply with the April 27 deadline to complete the handover of its roughly 1,200-tonne chemical arsenal – as Syrian authorities had ensured it would – after missing the December and February deadlines initially set by the OPCW plan.
Once the chemical agents have been loaded, probably by May 15, the Ark Futura will weigh anchor for the port in southern Italy. On April 29 a special meeting will be held of the OPCW executive council to assess the progress made in the plan to eliminate the Syrian chemical arsenal, with a report by Director General Ahmet Uzumcu that will then be sent to the UN Security Council.