U.S. OPCW Representative Mikulak discusses Syrian chemical weapons

Robert Mikulak, the permanent representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for the U.S., delivered remarks on Tuesday to the 76th session of the OPCW's Executive Council in The Hague, Netherlands.

Mikulak detailed both progress and concerns regarding the international agreement reached last year to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria.

The representative began his address by thanking international partners for providing financial and logistical support to the effort of destroying Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles, including Denmark and Norway for providing vessels to ship chemicals from Syria and the United Kingdom, Germany and Finland for facilitating the destruction of some chemicals.

Mikulak said, however, that roadblocks remain to completely eliminating Syria's chemical weapons.

"Syria continues to drag its feet in complying with its obligation to destroy chemical weapons production facilities," Mikulak said. "The international community has questions that must be adequately answered by Syria regarding the declaration of its entire chemical weapons program."

Mikulak also expressed his thanks for the OPCW fact-finding mission that traveled to Syria to discover whether the government used chemical weapons in Kafr Zayta. The representative said it was unfortunate that the team came under attack while investigating the matter.

Mikulak said that the Executive Council needs to take steps to ensure that Syria is in compliance with its international obligations.