Syria chemical arms destruction deadline won't be met
29 May 2014 06:25
UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations has confirmed that the destruction of Syria's chemical arsenal will not be completed by June 30, a final deadline set as part of a 2013 deal that averted US air strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.
In a letter to the Security Council, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the Syrian government to finish "remaining removal operations as quickly as possible, as the authorities have pledged to do." "However, it is now evident that some activities related to the elimination of the chemical weapons program of the Syrian Arab Republic will continue beyond 30 June 2014," Ban said in the letter, obtained by Reuters on Wednesday.
He also voiced concern about allegations that chlorine gas has been used in recent fighting in Syria and urged all sides in the conflict to cooperate with an investigation launched by the global chemical weapons watchdog.