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Home NATIONALFinland to join Syria's chemical weapons destruction
Thu, 12 Dec, 2013 05:34:11 AM
UN to disclose Syrian chemical weapons disposal plan next week
FTimes-STT-Xinhua Report, December 12
The country is going to send 20 soldiers drawn up from different special units in an operation for three months led by Denmark and Norway.
The task involved in the operation entails safe transportation of chemical weapon containers from Syria's port city of Latakia before the weapons are destroyed.
The preparation for the naval transportation is said to be already under way.
Finland's participation in the operation was outlined over the weekend by the Cabinet Committee on Foreign and Security Policy.
Earlier, the foreign affairs ministry in mid-November communicated with Ekokem, a Finnish company that deals with dangerous waste handling, and asked the company authority whether it had the technical capacity to handle the wastes of the destroyed chemical weapon.
Meanwhile, news agency Xinhua adds: The plan for the destruction of all Syrian chemical stockpiles outside the country will be released on December 17, a UN spokesperson said on Wednesday.
"Practicalities are currently being discussed and the final details are being worked out," UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky said at a daily news briefing.
File Picture of an image grab taken from Syrian television shows an inspector from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) at work at an undisclosed location in Syria on October 8, 2013. The UN Security Council endorsed a Russian-US disarmament plan for Syria last month, after a chemical weapons attack near Damascus on August 21, in which hundreds died. Photo - AFP/Lehtikuva.
He said that what must be eliminated are the chemicals stored or prepared by Syria for the production of chemical weapons. "These chemicals are not weapons in the traditional meaning of this word ...They cannot be fired as such and they are not weaponized -- in other words, they have not been put into munitions." 
The final report would first go to UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who would then present it to the UN Security Council, he added.
The Joint Mission of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will carry out the disposal project, with the assistance of a number of actors, including member states of the OPCW, Nesirky said.
Under the UN Security Council resolution 2118, the OPCW, which has been awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize, is mandated to oversee the elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons.
Since August, the OPCW staffs have been in Syria to inspect and verify Syria's chemical weapon stockpiles. So far they have succeeded in conducting their mission in 22 of the 23 sites.
According to the organization, the most dangerous chemical substances will be transported out of Syria by the end of this year while the rest will be shipped out for destruction no later than June 30, 2014.
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