12:00 AM, April 28, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

Syria chemical deadline passes

Syria chemical deadline passes

OPCW says regime still holds 8% of toxic material
Afp, Damascus

Syria still holds around eight percent of its chemical weapons material, missing a deadline to remove or destroy it all, the mission overseeing the destruction of its arsenal said yesterday.
Despite the slip, the head of the mission (OPCW), Sigrid Kaag, said she was still hopeful a June 30 deadline for the complete destruction of the chemical arms would be met.
Parliament meanwhile announced that four new candidates had submitted applications to run in Syria's June 3 presidential elections.
On the ground, at least 21 people were killed when rebels carried out a mortar attack on regime-parts of the northern city of Aleppo.
Kaag told reporters in Damascus that 7.5-8.0 percent of Syria's declared chemical weapons material remained in-country, at "one particular site."
"However, 92.5 percent of chemical weapons material removed or destroyed is signficant progress," she said.
"We also however need to... ensure the remaining 7.5-8.0 percent of the chemical weapons material is also removed and destroyed."
Under a US-Russian deal negotiated last year, Syria signed up to the Chemical Weapons Convention and agreed to hand over its entire chemical arsenal by June 30 of this year.
Kaag acknowledged the security challenges facing the mission, but said Syria was required to meet its commitments nonetheless.


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