MINSK, May 19 (RIA Novosti) – Syria is still in possession of nearly 8 percent of its chemical weapons arsenal, the director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) told reporters on Monday.
Around 92 percent of the country's chemical weapons have already been loaded onto Danish and Norwegian vessels to be destroyed, Ahmet Uzumcu said in Minsk, adding that 8 percent of the material is still located in areas with complicated security conditions.
The weapons are to be later handed over to a United States navy ship for destruction in international waters.
Uzumcu said he hopes that Syrian authorities secure the delivery and shipment of the remaining weapons soon.
Last October, the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons established a joint mission to eradicate Syria’s chemical arsenal in the safest and most secure manner possible.
Syria’s most dangerous chemicals, which include 20 tons of mustard gas, were scheduled to be removed from the country by March 31 and destroyed by the end of June as part of a cooperative effort to defuse international tensions related to its ongoing civil war. The original deadline was pushed back because of security concerns in the Middle Eastern country, technical issues and poor weather conditions.