Norway ‘Seriously’ Mulls Hosting Destruction of Syrian Warfare Chemicals

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Oct. 23, 2013, 10:02 a.m.

Nor­way’s top dip­lo­mat on Wed­nes­day said his coun­try is “very ser­i­ously” re­view­ing calls to host the elim­in­a­tion of chem­ic­al-arms in­gredi­ents from war-torn Syr­ia, but sug­ges­ted leg­al and tech­nic­al hurdles could com­plic­ate pos­sible as­sist­ance, Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

Nor­way lacks ex­per­i­ence in des­troy­ing such ma­ter­i­als, and do­mest­ic laws would re­quire oth­er European coun­tries to take fi­nal cus­tody of by-products from the pro­cess, Nor­we­gi­an For­eign Min­is­ter Bo­erge Brende told re­port­ers. He ad­ded it could prove dif­fi­cult to pre­vent wa­ter from freez­ing in any de­struc­tion ef­fort hos­ted by the Nor­d­ic coun­try.

The United Na­tions re­portedly asked Nor­way to ac­cept as much as 50 per­cent of Syr­ia’s chem­ic­al-war­fare stock­pile, which totals more than 1,000 tons and con­tains pre­curs­ors for deadly nerve and blister agents. Syr­i­an Pres­id­ent Bashar As­sad ad­mit­ted pos­sess­ing the ma­ter­i­als and agreed to their elim­in­a­tion last month, weeks after a nerve-gas strike in rebel-held ter­rit­ory pushed the United States to the brink of po­ten­tial mil­it­ary ac­tion against his re­gime.

The United States could provide chem­ic­al-de­struc­tion equip­ment to Nor­way, which is do­mest­ic­ally stable and con­tains sparsely pop­u­lated areas suited for de­struc­tion activ­it­ies, ac­cord­ing to Re­u­ters. Oslo has not iden­ti­fied any po­ten­tial do­mest­ic loc­a­tion for a pos­sible de­struc­tion ef­fort, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­por­ted on Tues­day.

The Nor­we­gi­an broad­caster NRK cited an in­tern­al U.N. re­cord nam­ing sev­en oth­er coun­tries — Al­bania, Bel­gi­um and the five re­cog­nized nuc­le­ar powers — asked to sup­port the chem­ic­al-dis­arm­a­ment pro­cess, Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

Mem­bers of the 28-na­tion NATO al­li­ance likely would “re­spond pos­it­ively if the U.N. ac­tu­ally for­wards a re­quest,” NATO Sec­ret­ary Gen­er­al An­ders Fogh Rasmussen said, ac­cord­ing to a Wed­neseday re­port from Deutsche Presse-Agen­tur.

He ad­ded it is “pre­ma­ture” to de­term­ine wheth­er coun­tries would act alone or in co­oper­a­tion to provide sup­port.

Dozens of in­ter­na­tion­al per­son­nel have been in Syr­ia for weeks, con­firm­ing chem­ic­al-arms in­vent­or­ies provided by As­sad’s re­gime and over­see­ing the de­struc­tion of empty mu­ni­tions and mix­ing equip­ment. The United Na­tions and the Or­gan­iz­a­tion for the Pro­hib­i­tion of Chem­ic­al Weapons are man­aging the closely watched dis­arm­a­ment mis­sion, which aims to elim­in­ate the Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment’s en­tire chem­ic­al ar­sen­al by the first half of next year.

The dis­arm­a­ment crews as of Tues­day had traveled to 18 of 23 chem­ic­al-arms sites dis­closed to date, OP­CW spokes­man Mi­chael Luhan told re­port­ers on Wed­nes­day. Dam­as­cus ap­peared set with­in one day to file a more com­plete “ini­tial de­clar­a­tion” of its chem­ic­al-war­fare in­vent­ory, as well as a “gen­er­al plan of de­struc­tion,” Luhan ad­ded.

Mean­while, U.N. en­voy for Syr­ia Lakh­dar Brahimi is slated on Nov. 5 to con­fer with Rus­si­an and U.S. del­eg­ates in sup­port of a par­al­lel ef­fort to lay the ground­work for pos­sible ne­go­ti­ations on end­ing Syr­ia’s civil war, Re­u­ters re­por­ted on Wed­nes­day. The news agency cited an un­named U.S. gov­ern­ment in­sider who named the date.

What We're Following See More »
PAC WILL TARGET INCUMBENTS
Sanders Acolytes Taking the Movement Local
28 minutes ago
WHY WE CARE

"While Democrats nationwide have put the focus on President Trump, the Sanders wing of the party has engaged in an intramural fight to remake the party in a more populist, liberal mold." From Washington state to California to Florida, Sanders loyalists are making good on their promise to remake the party from the ground up. And just last week, a "group of former Sanders campaign aides launched a super PAC with the explicit goal of mounting primary challenges to Democratic incumbents."

Source:
THANKS TO MILITARY ROLE
McMaster Requires Congressional Approval
41 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

Congress will need to vote on Donald Trump's pick of Lt. General H.R. McMaster to be his next national security adviser, but not for the reason you think. The position of NSA doesn't require Senate approval, but since McMaster currently holds a three-star military position, Congress will need to vote to allow him to keep his position instead of forcing him to drop one star and become a Major General, which could potentially affect his pension.

Source:
THE QUESTION
How Many Signatures Has the Petition for Trump’s Tax Returns Received?
4 hours ago
THE ANSWER

More than 1 million, setting a record. More than 100,000 signatures triggers an official White House response.

Source:
SENT LETTERS TO A DOZEN ORGANIZATIONS
Senate Intel Looks to Preserve Records of Russian Interference
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The Senate Intelligence Committee is seeking to ensure that records related to Russia’s alleged intervention in the 2016 U.S. elections are preserved as it begins investigating that country’s ties to the Trump team. The panel sent more than a dozen letters to 'organizations, agencies and officials' on Friday, asking them to preserve materials related to the congressional investigation, according to a Senate aide, who was not authorized to comment publicly. The Senate Intelligence Committee is spearheading the most comprehensive probe on Capitol Hill of Russia’s alleged activities in the elections."

Source:
MORE COOPERATION WITH LOCAL AUTHORITIES
Deportation, Detention Rules Released
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Memos issued by the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday night "implemented sweeping changes to the way immigration policy is enforced, making clear that millions of people living illegally in the U.S. are now subject to deportation and pushing authorities to fast-track the removal of many of them. ... The policy calls for enlisting local authorities to enforce immigration law, jailing more people while they wait for their hearings and trying to send border crossers back to Mexico to await proceedings, even if they aren’t Mexican."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login