China escorts Syria's chemical weapons transfer

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A Chinese frigate on Tuesday started its mission of escorting transport of Syria's chemical weapons out of the country, said a press release from the Arms Control Department of Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The frigate Yancheng entered the territorial waters of Syria on Tuesday and started the mission in close coordination with naval vessels from Russia, Denmark and Norway, according to the press release.

Calling the escort "a multilateral coordination operation," the press release said China participated in the operation in response to the appeals from the UN Security Council and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

It is an important measure taken by the Chinese side to help smoothly remove and eliminate Syria's chemical weapons and promote the political resolution of the Syrian issue, the press release said, adding that the endeavor shows China's contribution to the world peace and security.

A Danish vessel which took chemicals from two sites in Syria left western Syrian port Latakia on Tuesday, the OPCW announced in a press release.

In accordance with the decision of the OPCW on the removal of Syrian chemical weapons and UN Security Council Resolution 2118 in September 2013, the chemical weapons will be transported out of Syria and will be delivered to an American vessel for destruction. Vessels from China, Russia, Denmark and Norway help escort the transportation of the chemical weapons.

The deadline for destroying Syria's entire chemical weapons program is June 30, 2014.

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