October 25, 2013

Norway rejects U.S. request to destroy Syria’s weapons

The U.S. and Russia set a mid-2014 deadline for the destruction of the arsenal, which is too tight for Norway.

The Associated Press

OSLO, Norway — Norway has turned down a U.S. request to receive the bulk of Syria’s chemical weapons for destruction because it doesn’t have the capabilities to complete the task by the deadlines given, the Norwegian foreign minister said Friday.

Boerge Brende said Norway hadn’t been able to identify a port that could receive the weapons and didn’t have the capacity to treat some of the waste products resulting from the destruction of the munitions.

In a webcast news conference, Brende said both the U.S. and Norway agreed there was no point in continuing “the evaluation of Norway as a place for this destruction.”

Brende said the U.S. is looking at other alternatives but didn’t give details.

Norway earlier this week said it was one of the nations that had been asked to take part in the destruction of 50 metric tons of mixed chemicals in the form of mustard gas and some 300-500 metric tons of materials needed to make nerve agents.

The U.S. and Russia set a mid-2014 deadline for the destruction of Syria’s arsenal, which Brende said was too tight for Norway.

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