Commodore Torben Mikkelsen, commander of the Danish-Norwegian task group who will transport Syria's chemical agents to destruction. . 
Photo: Marthe Brendefur Rune Johansen / Lars Magne Hovtun / Hæren .Commodore Torben Mikkelsen, commander of the Danish-Norwegian task group who will transport Syria's chemical agents to destruction. . Photo: Marthe Brendefur Rune Johansen / Lars Magne Hovtun / Hæren

Norway to Assist in Removing Chemical Weapons from Syria

Norway is to play a significant role in removing chemical weapons from Syria and transporting them out of the country for destruction elsewhere.

For the operation, Norway is providing Wilhelmsen ASA’s civilian cargo ship MV Taiko to transport the chemical weapons, the frigate KNM Helge Ingstad to act as escort vessel, a military unit to protect the civilian ship, a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) team and the second-in-command of the Norwegian–Danish joint multinational operation for the marine transport of the chemical weapons. Denmark is making an equivalent contribution and will lead the joint operation. Finland will provide a chemical weapons emergency response capability.

UN Security Council resolution 2118 and relevant decisions by the Executive Council of the OPCW form the basis for both Norway’s and the UK's efforts. On 11 December, Susana Malcorra, Chef de Cabinet of the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, formally requested Norway and Denmark to assist in the removal and maritime transport of the designated chemical weapons from Syria. Syria will continue to own the weapons until they are destroyed, including when they are no longer under its control.

The Norwegian–Danish operation is being carried out on behalf of the joint mission of the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), led by Special Coordinator Sigrid Kaag. According to Security Council resolution 2118, all Syria’s chemical weapons material and equipment is to be eliminated in the first half of 2014. The most critical chemical material was to be transported out of Syria by 31 December. The rest of the chemical weapons material and equipment is to be transported out of the country by 5 February. Developments in Syria are causing minor adjustments to these deadlines.


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