The German Bundestag has agreed today (9 April) that the Bundeswehr will provide the necessary protection for chemical weapons from Syria to be destroyed at sea.
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin after the vote today:
I am delighted about the broad parliamentary approval in the German Bundestag for this important international deployment. Germany has a strong interest in ensuring that the removal and elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons can take place in a safe environment. In so doing, we are making an important contribution to implementing a disarmament initiative that is without precedent.
The legal basis for Bundeswehr deployment is provided by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2118 (2013) of 27 September 2013. The resolution calls on all nations to support and protect the UN and OPCW’s joint mission to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons.
Alongside Germany and the United States, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, France, Finland, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Turkey and the United Kingdom are contributing in their various ways to protecting and monitoring the chemical weapons destruction process. With the provision of a Bundeswehr frigate for the duration of the mission, Germany is making the most substantial contribution to the elimination process on the high seas apart from the United States.
The Bundeswehr deployment mandated today is part of Germany’s extensive involvement in the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons:
Germany has offered to destroy 370 tonnes of remnants (hydrolysate) of the destruction at sea, in a special facility in the small town of Munster in Lower Saxony.
Germany has made a voluntary contribution of 5 million euros to the OPCW’s work on destroying Syria’s chemical weapons and repeatedly provided logistical support (air transport and safety training) for OPCW inspectors.