uzumcu submits destruction plan for Syrian chemical weapons

Ahmet uzumcu, the director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, submitted a plan to destroy Syria's chemical weapons to the OPCW Executive Council, the international body announced on Wednesday.

uzumcu submitted the plan to destroy the Syrian weapons outside of the country on Tuesday after receiving a request from the council. The plan intends to meet the deadline set by the council to destroy Syria's priority chemicals by March 31 and other mostly commodity chemicals by June 30.

"The council had asked me to present a plan for the destruction of chemical weapons outside the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic after consultations with States Parties offering to host a destruction facility or otherwise providing assistance with transport or destruction," uzumcu said. "It gives me great satisfaction to report to you that, within a month's time, the major elements of such a transportation and destruction plan are in place."

uzumcu said the mission in Syria is making progress despite heavy odds, including procurement efforts resulting in the collection and delivery of materials and equipment in Syria. He praised States Parties of the OPCW for offering destruction facilities, transportation and other material assistance.

uzumcu reminded the council that delays may occur during the destruction process due to the tenuous security situation in Syria.

"At times, schedules have been disrupted by a combination of security concerns, clearance procedures in international transit and even inclement weather conditions," uzumcu said. "These circumstances which have been beyond the control of the assisting States Parties, the joint mission, and the government of the Syrian Arab Republic, have, however, added pressures to the time frames."

uzumcu said the resolve and commitment of the States Parties created conditions that should make the OPCW confident in implementing the decisions of the OPCW Executive Council and the U.N. Security Council