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Iraq: Germany assists with destruction of chemical weapons

04.11.2013

Today, Monday, 4 November 2013, a training course for Iraqi experts has begun in the Bundeswehr Research Institute for Protective Technologies and NBC Protection (WIS) in Munster, Lower Saxony. The experts will be trained in how to use German technology to destroy the remaining chemical weapons stockpiles left over from Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Before the end of the year the Federal Government will provide Iraq with a mobile laboratory equipped with state of the art detection and measuring devices for the analysis of chemical warfare agents, to be used at the remaining chemical weapons sites in Iraq.

In cooperation with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

In this way the Federal Government is making an essential contribution to the first phase of the safe and environmentally responsible disposal of chemical weapons in Iraq.

The overall value of the support package amounts to a million euros. This will enable Iraq to analyse the highly toxic legacy of the Saddam regime and to draft a technical strategy for its safe and environmentally responsible destruction. In this task, the country will work in cooperation with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Germany is the third largest contributor and a long standing member of the Executive Council of the organisation, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in December for its engagement around the world.

Background

For many years, grenades filled with the nerve gas sarin have been stored in the bunkers of a former chemical weapons production plant in Iraq. The site also contains several hundred tonnes of chemical precursors for the production of chemical weapons. The exact composition and condition of the warfare agents are unknown.
The Federal Government had agreed to assist Iraq with the destruction of its old chemical weapons stockpiles following the country’s accession to the international Chemical Weapons Convention in 2009.

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