Denmark offers vessels to take chemical weapons out of Libya

Denmark is offering two vessels to the international effort to transport chemical weapons out of Libya for destruction elsewhere, the government said Monday.

"The chemicals must not fall into the hands of extremist groups in the country," Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen said in a statement, referring to the likes of Islamic State.

A 200-strong force would man the Danish vessels consisting of a civilian cargo ship and an escort vessel equipped with a helicopter, the government's proposal to parliament said. The legislature's final approval is expected Friday.

The Scandinavian country took part in a similar operation in Syria two years ago led by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The UN-backed unity government in Libya has asked the Hague-based watchdog to help it destroy the remaining stockpile. Last month, the UN Security Council unanimously endorsed the move.

Libya in 2004 committed itself to destroy its chemical weapons. It declared almost 25 tonnes of sulphur mustard, 1,390 tons of precursor chemicals or compounds used to make chemical weapons, and thousands of unfilled bombs.

Although most of the stockpile has been destroyed, the 2011 fall of former dictator Moamer Gaddafi that threw Libya into political and military chaos halted the final destruction. 

The remaining 850 tonnes of precursor chemicals are reportedly stored in northern Libya. The stockpile is likely to be destroyed in Germany, the Danish statement said. 

Last update: Mon, 15/08/2016 - 13:42

More from World

Thirty per cent of Aleppo's Old City destroyed, UNESCO says

Thirty per cent of the Old City of Aleppo has been destroyed and 60 per cent significantly damaged amid the ongoing...

Donald Trump prepares to take office, as thousands flock to Mall

Donald Trump arrived at the White House Friday as he prepares to take the oath of office and become the 45th...

Trumps arrives at White House for tea with the Obamas

US President Barack Obama greets his successor Donald Trump on the steps of the White House.

Protests and parties around the world mark Trump inauguration

Groups of demonstrators took to the streets in cities around the world on Friday to both lament and celebrate the...

UN: About 45,000 flee Gambia due to political crisis

About 45,000 people have fled from Gambia to neighbouring Senegal amid a threat of military intervention as autocrat...