Syria urged to hasten removal of chemical weapons

4:53 PM, Feb 19, 2014   |    comments
A Syrian opposition demonstrator shouts anti-Syrian-government slogans as he joins others demonstrating with Syrian opposition and Kurdish flags outside the United Nations headquarters in Geneva Jan. 24, 2014.
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NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) - Denmark's prime minister says pressure must be put on Syria to speed up the removal of chemical weapons from the war-torn country.

According to a Cyprus government-issued transcript of her remarks, Helle Thorning-Schmidt said Wednesday she is "cautiously optimistic" that a timetable set for the removal of all the weapons can be met. But she said, "It's important that we put some pressure on the Syrians to live up to their part of the bargain."

Syria has missed several intermediate deadlines to have its chemical weapons eradicated, but says it would meet the final one of June 30.

Thorning-Schmidt spoke after meeting with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades aboard the Danish frigate HDMS Esbern Snare. The vessel is part of a Danish-Norwegian operation to ferry the weapons out of Syria.

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