OPCW Director-General uzumcu gives update on destruction of Syrian chemical weapons

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Director-General Ahmet uzumcu gave an update on Tuesday to the OPCW's Executive Council regarding the OPCW-UN Joint Mission's progress in Syria since Oct. 25.

uzumcu said verified destruction of chemical weapons and production equipment has been completed in accordance with the deadlines at 19 sites. Officials were not able to visit two additional sites due to safety concerns, but items from these sites were moved and verified against Syria's disclosure.

uzumcu said verification of the destruction of chemical weapons would continue, speaking specifically about category 3 chemical weapons, which are unfilled munitions.

uzumcu said the destruction of equipment and buildings at chemical production, mixing and filling plants also would continue. Syria has reported the demolition of 99 category 3 warheads at one site, with 55 warheads identified for destruction at a second site.

uzumcu said Syria's proposal "that the destruction of chemical weapons be carried out outside of the country constitutes the most viable option." He acknowledged that the proposal was based on the practical challenges of destroying chemical weapons and equipment while surrounded by countrywide conflict.

uzumcu said final plans for destroying Syria's chemical weapons would take part, with a Syrian delegation participating in those plans.