Fresh off of Albania’s refusal to take in Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal last week, Belgium has also turned down the idea, and they and other EU officials have indicated that no only is Belgium out of the running, but the whole rest of the EU as well.
“There is no member state that has come forward in saying `OK, give us the stuff’,” noted Netherlands FM Frans Timmermans. Officials across the EU agree that nobody wants to be responsible for taking in such a huge arsenal.
Several nations did suggest some willingness to contribute to the effort, however, and Timmermans said he believes it may be time to consider neutralization of the Syrian arsenal taking place inside Syria itself.
That’s traditionally how chemical disarmament has been carried out, but is considered particularly difficult because of the ongoing civil war in Syria. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has expressed confidence that it will meet the mid-2014 timetable to finish the destruction, though access to some sites has been intermittent because of the active combat nearby.