Press Release Regarding The Shipping Of The Chemicals Out Of Syria

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 27.06.2014

No: 213, 27 June 2014

The completion of the process of shipping or destroying chemicals declared by the Syrian regime with a final shipment on June 23 is a positive development. We congratulate for their altruistic efforts all the personnel of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations, particularly the Director General of the OPCW, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, who contributed to the attainment of this result in spite of extremely negative conditions in Syria as well as all the risks and hindrances.

However, we understand that the target for the complete elimination of the regime’s chemical weapons programme has not been reached and that UN Security Council resolution 2118 has not been fully implemented. The regime, which is responsible for delays at all stages of the OPCW’s schedule regarding the destruction process, resists destroying chemical weapons production facilities in violation of resolution 2118. This behavior of the regime which has been using chemical weapons against the people in various regions of Syria and did not hesitate in brutally murdering more than 1,400 innocent civilians on 21 August 2013, is totally unacceptable.

It is important that Syria be stripped of its chemical weapons program and in this context, the findings that point to discrepancies between the quantity of chemical weapons and related equipment declared by the regime and the actual amounts in its possession be investigated urgently.

On the other hand, the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission’s conclusion that chlorine gas was used systematically in Syria, in view of the fact that the attacks in question targeted the regions which are under the control of the opposition and that only the Syrian regime has such a capacity, indicate that the regime is responsible for these attacks as well.

Turkey will continue to contribute to the efforts to ensure that the regime fully complies with its obligations stemming from UNSC resolution 2118 in order to prevent the use of chemical weapons against the people of Syria.

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