Europeans Nervous About Syria Chemical-Destruction Safety

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
Global Security Newswire Staff
Jan. 23, 2014, 6:47 a.m.

Greece wants ab­so­lute guar­an­tees that des­troy­ing Syr­ia’s war­fare chem­ic­als would not en­danger the Medi­ter­ranean, the Xin­hua News Agency re­ports.

Athens is not alone in its nervous­ness about the plan for elim­in­at­ing Dam­as­cus chem­ic­als; Brit­ish cit­izens also are be­gin­ning to voice safety con­cerns re­lated to their na­tion’s in­volve­ment in the pro­cess.

Greek For­eign Min­is­ter Evan­gelos Ven­izelos asked EU for­eign policy chief Cath­er­ine Ashton to de­mand the guar­an­tees from the United Na­tions and the Or­gan­iz­a­tion for the Pro­hib­i­tion of Chem­ic­al Weapons. The two or­gan­iz­a­tions are over­see­ing ef­forts to elim­in­ate the Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment’s chem­ic­al-war­fare stock­pile by the end of June.

Emma Bonino, Evan­gelos’ Itali­an equi­val­ent, “agreed on the send­ing of a let­ter to the dir­ect­or of the OP­CW,” the Greek For­eign Min­istry ad­ded in a state­ment on Wed­nes­day.

The Syr­i­an chem­ic­al ar­sen­al’s dead­li­est com­pon­ents are be­ing trans­por­ted through the vi­ol­ence-wracked na­tion to coastal city of Latakia, where they are to be loaded on Dan­ish and Nor­we­gi­an trans­port ships. The chem­ic­als then would travel un­der in­ter­na­tion­al es­cort to an Itali­an port, where they would enter the cus­tody of a U.S. ves­sel equipped to des­troy them.

Greece is seek­ing con­firm­a­tion that there is “no doubt … as to the se­cur­ity and pro­tec­tion of the Medi­ter­ranean en­vir­on­ment dur­ing the pro­cess of the trans­port­ing and de­struc­tion of Syr­i­an chem­ic­al weapons,” the Greek For­eign Min­istry said.

In earli­er dis­cus­sions with Green­peace, Ocean­ica and the World Wild­life Fund, OCPW Dir­ect­or Gen­er­al Ah­met Üzüm­cü as­ser­ted that the de­struc­tion ef­fort would not drop any byproducts in­to the Medi­ter­ranean Sea. Rep­res­ent­at­ives of the watch­dog groups con­veyed that prom­ise to Ven­izelos on Wed­nes­day, ac­cord­ing to the min­istry state­ment.

Mean­while, pe­ti­tion­ers in the United King­dom have gathered nearly 400 sig­na­tures in op­pos­i­tion to the planned elim­in­a­tion of less-dan­ger­ous Syr­i­an chem­ic­al-arms in­gredi­ents at Ellesmere Port, the Liv­er­pool Echo re­por­ted.

The pres­id­ent of Syr­ia, Bashar As­sad, ad­mit­ted his gov­ern­ment’s pos­ses­sion of chem­ic­al weapons and agreed to elim­in­ate them after Dam­as­cus was blamed for a nerve-gas strike al­legedly res­ult­ing in more than 1,400 ci­vil­ian deaths last Au­gust.

What We're Following See More »
WITH LIVE BLOGGING
Trump Deposition Video Is Online
15 hours ago
STAFF PICKS

The video of Donald Trump's deposition in his case against restaurateur Jeffrey Zakarian is now live. Slate's Jim Newell and Josh Voorhees are live-blogging it while they watch.

Source:
SOUND LEVEL AFFECTED
Debate Commission Admits Issues with Trump’s Mic
16 hours ago
THE LATEST

The Commission on Presidential Debates put out a statement today that gives credence to Donald Trump's claims that he had a bad microphone on Monday night. "Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump's audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall," read the statement in its entirety.

Source:
TRUMP VS. CHEFS
Trump Deposition Video to Be Released
16 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A video of Donald Trump testifying under oath about his provocative rhetoric about Mexicans and other Latinos is set to go public" as soon as today. "Trump gave the testimony in June at a law office in Washington in connection with one of two lawsuits he filed last year after prominent chefs reacted to the controversy over his remarks by pulling out of plans to open restaurants at his new D.C. hotel. D.C. Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman said in an order issued Thursday evening that fears the testimony might show up in campaign commercials were no basis to keep the public from seeing the video."

Source:
A CANDIDATE TO BE ‘PROUD’ OF
Chicago Tribune Endorses Gary Johnson
19 hours ago
THE LATEST

No matter that his recall of foreign leaders leaves something to be desired, Gary Johnson is the choice of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. The editors argue that Donald Trump couldn't do the job of president, while hitting Hillary Clinton for "her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust." Which leaves them with Johnson. "Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles," they write, "and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016."

NEVER TRUMP
USA Today Weighs in on Presidential Race for First Time Ever
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

"By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump." That's the message from USA Today editors, who are making the first recommendation on a presidential race in the paper's 34-year history. It's not exactly an endorsement; they make clear that the editorial board "does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement." But they state flatly that Donald Trump is, by "unanimous consensus of the editorial board, unfit for the presidency."

Source:
×