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Danish navy off Cyprus picks up last of Syria chemical weapons

24 June, 2014

The Danish vessel “Ark Futura”, as part of the joint OPCW-UN mission has picked up the last consignment of Syria’s chemical weapons, the embassy of Denmark in Cyprus announced.
“The last 7.2% of Syria’s declared chemical weapons were loaded this afternoon in Latakia, Syria on board the Danish vessel Ark Futur”, the embassy announcement said on Monday.
In a statement the Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard expressed his satisfaction that Denmark, the ships and their crews have completed this very important task.
“A huge thanks to the UN-OPCW mission and the other countries with whom we have cooperated. The completion of the operation unfortunately does not bring us closer to a solution to the Syrian civil war or the desperate situation for the population,” the minister said.
He also added that Denmark “delivers both political and economic contributions to improve the situation, but the thousands of removed tonnes of chemical weapons of the Syrian regime will never again be used against the Syrian civil population”.
The Danish Minister of Defence Nicolai Wammen has also expressed his satisfaction with the mission and the work done.
Cyprus has provided logistical and ground support to the OPCW-UN joint mission and the Danish led maritime task force.
The Danish frigate “HDMS Esbern Snare” together with Chinese and Norwegian ships, have accompanied the tankers which carried the dismantled chemical weapons cache from Syria. The weapons were transported to a port near Calabria where they are collected by an American ship.