Syrian government must stop "foot dragging" over chemical weapons elimination programme: US top diplomat

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Samantha Power

The Syrian government has been asked to take the necessary steps to fulfil its obligations under the chemical weapons convention and a UN Security Council resolution.

The permanent representative of the United States to the United Nations issued a statement to the press on Thursday.

Ambassador Samantha Power said it was "increasingly clear" the Syrian government had fallen behind in complying with its international obligations to remove chemical agents and precursor chemicals from its soil.

"We know the regime has the ability to move the weapons and materials because they have moved them multiple times in the course of this conflict. It is time for the Assad government to stop its foot-dragging, establish a transportation plan and stick to it. We urge all Member States with influence over the regime to persuade it to move forward with the transportation phase. The rest of the international community is ready- and has been ready- to do its part."

The US diplomat said Denmark and Norway have had ships waiting off the coast of Syria since early January. Italy and the US have also offered their assistance.

By delaying, Ambassador Power added, the Syrian government is only increasing the cost to nations that have made donations for shipping, escorts and other services related to the removal effort.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’22″

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