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UN told Syria chemical weapons destruction too slow

AFP  |  United Nations 

Syria's delay in destroying its chemical arsenal is "not insurmountable" but Damascus must sharply step up the pace to meet its deadlines, the UN Security Council heard today, diplomats said.

"As the Council is aware, the intermediate timeline objectives have not been met. Syria is at critical juncture," the diplomats quoted Sigrid Kaag, the operation's coordinator, as warning the council.

"Delay is not insurmountable," she added. "But with deadline on the horizon, it is essential that Syria accelerates. Time for action is now."

Kaag is the coordinator of a joint operation set up by the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has pledged to eliminate Syria's entire chemical weapons arsenal by the end of June or face sanctions, including the possible use of force.

Less than five percent of the most dangerous weapons have been removed from Syria, according to Washington, and Damascus has just missed another key deadline.

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First Published: Thu, February 06 2014. 22:57 IST