UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council called on Syria on Thursday to speed up the removal of its most harmful chemical weapons from the country, expressing “growing concern” at missed deadlines.

The Syrian government missed a Dec. 31 deadline to remove the most dangerous chemicals in its stockpile from the war-torn country and Wednesday’s deadline to give up its entire stockpile of chemical weapons. The Assad regime has cited security concerns and the lack of some equipment but says it remains fully committed to the process.

A council statement issued Thursday after a closed briefing by Sigrid Kaag, head of the mission charged with destroying Syria’s chemical weapons, called on Syria “to expedite actions to meet its obligation to transport in a systematic and sufficiently accelerated manner all relevant chemicals” to the port of Latakia for removal.

The council noted that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the joint U.N.-Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons mission overseeing the destruction of Syria’s stockpile have said the government “has sufficient material and equipment to carry out multiple ground movements to ensure the expeditious removal of chemical weapons.”

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