Libya misses weapons destruction deadline

Libya has requested more time to deliver on its promise to destroy its stockpile of chemical weapons after missing a major deadline, an international monitoring group recently announced.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is now considering whether or not to grant Libya an extension. OPCW director general Ahmet Uzumcu told delegates at a meeting in Tallinn, Estonia, that the Libya situation was of particular concern, according to AFP.

"This country has requested an extension of its destruction deadline, which expired yesterday and the issue is currently being considered by the executive council," Uzumcu said, AFP reports.

In March, a spokesman from the OPCW confirmed that Libya had destroyed 55 percent of its mustard gas stockpile, leaving 11.25 tons of the material still in existence, according to AFP. According to reports, Tripoli has already destroyed the munitions required to use the mustard gas.

Muammar Gaddafi pledged that Libya would destroy its chemical weapons when it joined the United Nations affiliated OPCW in January 2004. The OPCW administers the Chemical Weapons Convention, an arms control treaty ratified by 188 states that outlaws the use and stockpiling of chemical weapons.

It is not immediately clear what sanctions Libya could face if the OPCW turns down its request for more time.