Norway upholds its commitment to Syria operation

Despite delays on the ground, Norway upholds its commitment to the OPCW-UN to transport Syrian chemical agents out of Syria within the deadline set by the UN Security Council.

Despite delays on the ground, Norway upholds its commitment to the OPCW-UN to transport Syrian chemical agents out of Syria within the deadline set by the UN Security Council.

Norwegian Commander Per Rostad and a crew member from the frigate KNM «Helge Ingstad» observing chemical agents being loaded onto cargo vessels in the port of Latakia, Syria, on February 28, 2014 (Marthe Brendefur, Norwegian Defence)

The crew of the Norwegian frigate KNM "Helge Ingstad" rotated this week. The frigate will be replaced by another suitable naval vessel in May, unless the operation is concluded by then.

- We have taken on a very important mission on behalf of the international community and intend to finish the job within the deadline set by the UN Security Council, says Norway's Defence Minister, Ine Eriksen Søreide.

The UN Security Council has instructed the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons program by June 30, 2014. Norway offered, in cooperation with Denmark, to transport the chemical agents out of Syria on behalf of the OPCW-UN. According to the original plan of the OPCW, the chemicals should have been out of Syria by February 5, but conditions on the ground have caused delays.