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US Increases Pressure to Speed Up Syria Chemical Weapons Removal

The United States is calling on Syria to speed up efforts to give up its chemical weapons for destruction at sea.

White House spokesman Jay Carney called on the Syrian government to "immediately take the necessary actions" to move its chemical weapons to a port where they can be taken from the country.

Speaking at a briefing Friday, Carney said the international community knows the Syrian regime "has the capability" to move its chemical weapons. He said the U.S. would continue to work with partners to keep up pressure on the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria has agreed to give up its chemical stockpile by mid-2014, but officials say just 4 percent of Syria's deadliest chemical agents has been shipped out of the country for destruction.

Earlier, in Germany, Secretary of State John Kerry said "there is no legitimate reason" for the delays in delivering and destroying the weapons.

Kerry called on Mr. Assad and Syria to "live up to its obligations," or the U.S. will consider further steps, noting that "all options are on the table."

Before Damascus agreed to surrender its chemical weapons, the U.S. had threatened limited air strikes on targets belonging to the Syrian government, which Washington blamed for a deadly chemical attack.