(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday welcomed the destruction of Syria's "declared" chemical weapons (CW) material on board the United States Maritime Vessel Cape Ray, his Spokesman Stephane Dujarric told the daily press briefing.
"This marks a significant achievement in the international community's efforts to eliminate the chemical weapons programme of the Syrian Arab Republic following the framework agreement between the Russian Federation and the United States of America," he said.
He noted that Ban "appreciates" Syria's "cooperation" and commended the member states that provided "crucial support" to this process, as well as the UN Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Joint Mission for its "leadership and commitment" to finish the task on time by June 30 of this year.
Ban urged Damascus to build on this "historic milestone" in order to ensure the full elimination of its chemical weapons programme, including the destruction of the remaining chemical weapons production facilities.
The US and Russia worked out a deal last September by which Syria would agree to declare and have its CW material and facilities destroyed by the Joint Mission. Washington had warned it would conduct military strikes on those facilities in case Damascus did not cooperate.