U.S. pledges technological and financial support to destroy Syria's chemical weapons

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Executive Council said on Friday that the United States offered to donate infrastructure to destroy Syria's priority chemicals.

The announcement was made by the OPCW Director-General Ahmet uzumcu, who said that the U.S. offered to donate full operational and financial support of a destruction technology to destroy the highest risk chemicals in Syria, which must be removed from the country by December 31.

The destruction technology will be installed on a U.S. vessel on the shore using hydrolysis. A naval vessel is currently under construction to be able to support the destructive operations and verification measures by OPCW-United Nations Joint Mission personnel.

uzumcu also announced that the OPCW received 35 expressions of interest from commercial companies for the destruction of Syria's common industrial chemicals. The OPCW is just beginning its evaluation of each candidate to determine which is most suitable for the task. All companies interested in participating will also be responsible for upholding international environmental and safety regulations.

Before destruction efforts are possible, however, the OPCW needs to resources to fund the project. OPCW Director-General uzumcu asked that all States Parties make contributions to support the OPCW-UN Joint Mission to expedite the initiative.

"Before we can launch any tender process we must be certain that we have sufficient funds available to meet the costs of destruction," uzumcu said.