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Norway Says It Can’t Destroy Syria’s Chemical Weapons

A convoy of United Nations vehicles at the Lebanon-Syria Masnaa border crossing on Oct. 1 as a chemical weapons disarmament team awaited entry into Syria.

Norway has turned down a U.S. request to take on the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons, saying it lacks the capabilities to carry out the task.

The country's foreign ministry said it had given "serious and thorough consideration" to the U.S. query but that "due to time constraints and external factors, such as capacities, [and] regulatory requirements," Norway would be unable to fulfill the request.

Foreign Minister Boerge Brende noted that his country didn't have a port that could take the weapons. He also said Norway lacks the capacity to treat some of the waste products that would result from disarming the munitions.

Brende, speaking in a webcast, said Washington and Oslo had jointly concluded that "Norway is not the most suitable location for this destruction."

As NPR's Tom Bowman reported on Thursday, the issue of who will destroy the weapons has become a thorny one for the U.S. as it seeks to eliminate the chemical weapons threat in Syria.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit www.npr.org.

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