The Danish-led international maritime transport operation to remove approximately 500 tons remnants of Libya#39;s chemical weapons stockpile is close to completion. The chemicals were picked up at the port of Misrata in Libya on Saturday August 27. The chemicals are now on their way out of the Mediterranean Sea on its way to Germany.
Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen says:
We have now removed the chemical remnants from Libya and have ensured that they will not fall into the wrong hands. This is an important contribution from Denmark to a safer world free of chemical weapons and a contribution that aims to support a more stable Libya. I am proud that the international community through the United Nations and OPCW has asked for Danish assistance, and very pleased that Danish ships and personnel once more has delivered on an important security policy agenda.rdquo;
Defence Minister Peter Christensen says:
The Danish Defence has with great distinction - quickly and safely - solved the problem of removing chemicals out of Libya, and these substances can now be destroyed. The Danish Defence has substantial experience with tasks like this, and has once again shown that it is ready when needed to provide a contribution to peace and stability in the world. High praise for our soldiers and deployed personnel from the Danish Emergency Management Agency as well as the Customs and Tax Administration.rdquo;
Besides Denmark, the United Kingdom and Finland assisted with the international maritime operation. The United Kingdom has provided a military escort ship available during the escort through the Mediterranean, while Finland has contributed with staff officers to the Danish ship contribution.
The full operation is coordinated by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in close collaboration with a number of other countries, especially Libya, which has worked with the international community for the means to destroy the last remnants of the country#39;s former chemical weapons programme.
The Libyan request for assistance was approved by the OPCW Executive Council on July 20 and that decision was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2298 of July 22.
The Danish parliament unanimously adopted Resolution B 197 on August 19. The resolution authorizes a Danish ship contribution to remove the remnants of Libya#39;s chemical weapons stock.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.