Naval frigate KNM «Helge Ingstad» is part of the mission (photo: Eskil Sivertsen).
OPCW and the UN confirm that the first load of components for chemical weapons has left the port of Latakia today. The process of transporting Syria’s chemical weapons out of the country for destruction has begun.
“It is positive that the transport of chemical weapons out of Syria is now underway. This is an important step in implementing the decision by the UN and the OPCW to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons. It is crucial that the remaining components are brought to Latakia as quickly as possible,” said Foreign Minister Børge Brende.
The OPCW-UN Joint Mission is mandated to oversee that the Syrian chemical weapons are eliminated in the safest possible way and within a strict international time frame. The Norwegian-Danish contribution to transporting these weapons out of Syria is part of the OPCW-UN operation.
“We all have an obligation to take on our share of the responsibility for international peace and security. I am proud that the maritime countries of Norway and Denmark are able to contribute to this mission on short notice when asked to do so by the UN and OPCW, by providing the necessary naval frigates and specialised cargo vessels. I am pleased that this important operation is now underway,” said Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide.
The Danish transport ship that is transporting the first load of components out of Syria is being escorted by the Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Ingstad, a Danish frigate, and marine vessels from China and Russia. The Norwegian cargo vessel MV Taiko is also ready to take part in the transport of the remaining chemical weapons components.
Syria’s chemical weapons are being removed and destroyed in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 2118 and decisions by the OPCW Executive Council.
Norway has also provided support for the OPCW Special Trust Fund for the Destruction of Syrian Chemical Weapons.
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