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Italy to host Syrian weapons transfer despite local opposition
By REUTERS
12/01/2014
 
ROME - Italy will honor a pledge to host the transfer of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal despite growing domestic opposition and this week will name the commercial port where the handover will take place, a government source said on Sunday.

The transfer of chemicals aboard a Danish vessel to a specially adapted US ship, where they will be destroyed at sea, is part of an international accord engineered by Russia in the wake of a poison gas attack on the outskirts of Damascus that killed hundreds, including children, last August.

Italy agreed last month to allow the use of a port on its territory for the transit of the toxins used in making sarin, VX gas and other lethal agents, prompting vocal opposition from some areas touted by the media as possible destinations.

Foreign Minister Emma Bonino will announce the venue chosen for the exchange - expected by the end of January and to take no more than 48 hours - during testimony in parliament on Thursday, the government source told Reuters.

Later in the day, Ahmet Uzumcu, director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, will provide lawmakers with details about the procedure in separate testimony, according to parliamentary websites.
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