In this photo made from video released Oct. 24 by the Syrian official news agency SANA, a chemical weapons expert works at a chemical weapons plant at an unknown location in Syria.
(Photo: SANA via AP)
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is reporting progress toward the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons but says meeting the mid-2014 deadline under the "volatile" security conditions in the war-torn country requires an "unprecedented effort" by the international community.
Ban, in a letter to the U.N. Security Council obtained Monday by The Associated Press, expressed deep concern at the safety of staff from the U.N. and the chemical weapons watchdog overseeing Syria's planned removal and destruction of chemical weapons material.
He said "Syrian authorities are being encouraged to consider alternative options to ensure the safety and security of inland transportation for the chemical material."
Ban also said "full clarity" on plans to remove the chemical material from Syria and destroy it elsewhere "is critical, including the location for destruction."
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