Norway asked to take 500 tonnes of Syrian sarin

Richard Orange
Richard Orange - [email protected] • 21 Oct, 2013 Updated Mon 21 Oct 2013 08:52 CEST
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The UN has asked Norway to take and dispose of up to 500 tonnes of the deadly nerve agent Sarin as part of its role in the dismantling of Syria's chemical weapons programme.


The consignment Norway has been asked to accept, which also includes some 50 tonnes of mustard gas, amounts to more than half of Syria's total chemical weapons stockpile. 
"Norway is now considering whether it is possible to assume a role in the destruction," the country's new foreign minister Børge Brende told NRK on Sunday. "We have appointed a team of experts who will investigate over the coming days if this is possible to do in Norway." 
According to an internal UN memo, the five permanent members of the Security Council, Belgium,  Albania, and Norway, have each been asked if they can take responsibility for some of the stockpile.  
The plans were immediately criticised by Christian Tybring-Gjedde, one of the leading politicians in Progress Party, the coalition government's junior partner. 
"I do not see the point of bringing weapons into Norway. We have so far as I know never produced any chemical weapons, and I doubt we have the expertise to destroy them," he said. 
Syria's military holds an estimated 1,000 tonnes of chemical weapons, stored at hundreds of different sites around the country. 
In September, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad agreed to dismantle his country's chemical weapons programme in a move aimed at averting a US-led military strike. 



Richard Orange 2013/10/21 08:52

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