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Chinese warship in Cyprus to help remove Syrian chemical weapons

Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 01:21

Jan. 4 - A Chinese frigate that will assist a joint Danish-Norwegian task force to transfer Syria's chemical weapons out of the country docks in a Cyprus port. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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This Chinese frigate will help escort Syria's chemical weapons out of the country. Loudspeakers blared Chinese music and flags were waved, as the Yancheng docked in Cyprus. The warship will accompany a Norwegian-Danish convoy, which is in international waters off Syria. The convoy's waiting for the go-ahead from international watchdogs overseeing the removal of the chemical weapons. The Chinese Ambassador to Cyprus spoke to reporters: (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHINESE AMBASSADOR TO CYPRUS, LIU XINSHENG, SAYING: "China supports the efforts of the international community to destroy the Syrian chemical weapons and we come to Cyprus to participate in this international operation." The defense minister of Cyprus reiterated his country's role will be limited: (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) CYPRIOT DEFENSE MINISTER, FOTIS FOTIOU, SAYING: "Cyprus can not be used as a venue for the destruction of these chemical weapons and the assurance we have from the United Nations and from all the countries participating in this operation is that the destruction will not take place in our region. From the information we have so far the operation is expected to start any day now." The December 31 deadline to have the chemical weapons removed was missed because of poor weather, logistical delays and the conflict inside Syria.

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Chinese warship in Cyprus to help remove Syrian chemical weapons

Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 01:21

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