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French firm to help UK destroy Syrian chemical weapons

AFP

French waste disposal company Veolia announced Thursday that it has been selected by the British government to help destroy 150 tonnes of chemicals as part of the international mission to dismantle Syria’s feared chemical weapons programme.

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Veolia Environment said the so-called “B precurson” chemicals from Syria would be disposed of at the firm’s high temperature incineration plant at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire, England.

“‘B-Precursors’ are chemicals used routinely in the pharmaceutical industry in the UK and are similar in nature to standard industrial materials safely processed on a regular basis at Ellesmere Port,” the company said in a statement on its website.

“It is important to make clear these are industrial-grade chemicals as opposed to chemical weapons,” the French firm added.

Veolia told Reuters that the contract was the first of two that will be awarded by British authorities in connection to the Russian-brokered international agreement to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile.

Veolia declined to reveal how much its contract with the British government was worth.

Britain agreed in December to destroy part of Syria’s chemical weapons at a commercial facility and escort Scandinavian ships transporting the toxic cargo.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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