US says June deadline on Syria chemical weapons at risk

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The US State Department said on Friday that Syria is at risk of missing a June 30 deadline for disposing of chemical weapons but that the deadline can still be met.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that after "weeks of inaction" and missed intermediate deadlines, less than one-third of Syria's chemical weapon material had been moved out of the country as part of an agreement with the United States and Russia.

Sources at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Syria also will miss another interim deadline next week.

It has until June 30 to eliminate its chemical weapons program completely.

"Recent shipments are encouraging signs that Syria is accelerating CW (chemical weapons) movements ...," Ms Psaki said,"but the regime's previous lack of action puts the June 30 deadline for elimination of Syria's program at risk.

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