Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a statement regarding the Syrian regime’s refusal to meet its deadlines for the destruction of its chemical weapons program:

“Syria’s repeated refusal to meet the deadlines for the elimination of its chemical weapons program is a troubling indication that the Assad regime may be seeking to retain this deadly arsenal.  The 100-day delay it has proposed is unacceptable and violates its obligations under the UN Security Council resolution that mandates the destruction of the entire chemical weapons program.  Russia’s refusal to pressure its ally to meet its obligations has allowed the regime to continue its obstruction.”

Note:  On September 27, 2013, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution mandating the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal and infrastructure.  Under the plan agreed to by Syria, the deadline for shipping all of the chemical substances and precursors out of the country was February 5th, but so far only 11% have been removed.  Syria claims that security concerns make further action too risky, but U.S. officials have rejected that explanation.  Last Friday, the U.S. and its allies offered Syria a revised schedule that would allow it to meet the June deadline for completing the destruction of all elements of its chemical weapons program.