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Norway 'will not destroy Syria's chemical weapons on its soil'

Norway 'will not destroy Syria's chemical weapons on its soil'
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Norway has declined a request from the United States to help destroy Syria’s chemical weapons.

The Norwegian government said it would like to help, but explained that the country did not have the resources or staff necessary to do the job.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende said the tight deadlines required by the disarmament plan meant the country just could not be ready on time.

Brende told reporters: “This has not been an easy conclusion for us to come to – because if there’s one thing Norway and the Norwegian people desire, it is to contribute to these chemical weapons being destroyed.”

Syria agreed to hand over its chemical arsenal as part of a deal brokered by Washington and Moscow last month and backed by the United Nations.

The agreement was reached in the wake of a sarin gas attack in the outskirts of Damascus, in which more than 1,400 people were killed.