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Possible Syria Chemical Arms Destruction Site: Albania

  • VOA News

Employees of an OPCW-linked lab inspect dummy samples contaminated with a substance similar to Sarin during demonstration, Munster, Oct. 15, 2013.

Employees of an OPCW-linked lab inspect dummy samples contaminated with a substance similar to Sarin during demonstration, Munster, Oct. 15, 2013.

A chemical weapons monitoring group met Friday to decide the fate of Syria's chemical arsenal, with Albania emerging as a possible place where the weapons will be destroyed.

The meeting of the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons in The Hague was adjourned to allow national delegates to craft the plan.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said he will announce later Friday whether his government will approve a U.S. request to house a facility that will destroy the weapons.

There has been strong opposition to the plan in Albania. On Friday, hundreds of protesters gathered outside Rama's office in the capital, Tirana, waving banners and chanting "No to chemical weapons."

The Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons says Syria's stockpile should be moved out of the country before the risky process of destroying the arsenal is carried out.

Syria's government, which has submitted a detailed disarmament plan to the OPCW, shares that view. But the search for a country willing to receive the weapons has so far not been successful.

Syria's chemical stockpile includes poison gas and the deadly nerve agent sarin.

The OPCW's meeting Friday marked the next step in a U.N.-backed plan under which Syria has agreed to destroy its chemical arsenal by the middle of next year.

More than 120,000 people have been killed in Syria since March 2011, while more than 2 million others have been forced to flee their homes.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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