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European Union envoy slams Syria over gaps, contradictions in chemical weapons declaration


THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A European Union envoy has criticized Syria for "gaps and contradictions" in its declarations about its chemical weapons arsenal to the global watchdog overseeing the destruction of the toxic armaments.

Jacek Bylica of Luxembourg delivered the damning statement Monday on behalf of the EU at the annual meeting of member states of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

He says that the lack of clarity from Damascus about its weapons program "make it impossible to have confidence that its chemical weapons program has been irreversibly dismantled."

Syria declared a 1,300-ton chemical weapons arsenal when it joined the OPCW in 2013. Those arms were removed from the war-torn nation and destroyed in an unprecedented international mission, but questions remain about whether Syria declared all of its stockpiles.

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