Italy names Calabrian port as transfer site

(AP) Italy names Calabrian port as transfer site
Italian officials say the southern Italian port of Gioa Tauro will be the site for the transfer of a shipment of chemical weapons materials from Syria to a U.S. ship.

Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi identified the port in a joint meeting of the parliamentary foreign affairs commissions.

The raw materials for poison gas and nerve agents currently are on board a Danish ship, and Italy has agreed to serve as the transfer port to a U.S. ship.

Lupi said a total of 60 containers of the material would be transferred ship-to-ship at the port in Calabria, near the toe of the Italian boot, and none would be brought to shore.

Security “challenges” in Syria have slowed the transport of raw materials for poison gas and nerve agents to a port for transport and eventual destruction, but the process should pick up in the coming days and weeks, the head of the global chemical weapons watchdog said Thursday.

The head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Ahmet Uzumcu, said he is still confident that Syria’s chemical weapons will be destroyed as scheduled by the end of June.

“We will do our best” to meet the deadline, he said.[More]