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US, UN: chemical weapons will not be removed by June 30

Spokesperson of the US State Department Jen Psaki said on Friday that the Syrian regime would not be able to destroy the remaining chemical weapons by the deadline June 30, 2014.

In a press briefing, Psaki told journalists that the US is cooperating with Russia to push the Syrian regime to comply with its obligations regarding the destruction of its entire chemical arsenal.

"We have been working with the Russians throughout this process to press the regime to remove chemical weapons," said Psaki. "Ninety-two percent have been removed and there's 8 percent left at one location."

Psaki added: "There have been concerns expressed about security needs on the ground. Those have been expressed by the UN as well, but again, everybody has made clear… the UN and the OPCW are doing everything possible to get the remaining 8 percent out."

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said that removing Syria's chemical weapons would not be completed by the agreed upon deadline – June 30.

The New York Times reported Wednesday excerpts from Moon's letter to the UNSC saying: "It is imperative that the Syrian Arab Republic concludes the remaining removal operations as quickly as possible, as the authorities have pledged to do.

"However, it is now evident that some activities related to the elimination of the chemical weapons programme of the Syrian Arab Republic will continue beyond 30 June 2014."

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