BEIJING, Dec. 30 -- A multilateral agreement on escorts for chemical weapons being shipped out of Syria for destruction has been reached, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Monday.
A meeting in Moscow between China, the United States, Syria, Denmark, Norway and a joint mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations reached the agreement on Friday, Qin told a daily news briefing.
"The participants discussed and reached agreements on escorting the transportation of chemical weapons out of Syria for eventual destruction," he said, adding that they will inform the UN and OPCW as soon as possible.
"Vessels from China, Russia, Denmark and Norway will ensure transportation conducive to regional security and in the interests of all parties," Qin said.
Chinese defense officials and diplomats discussed military technical issues with other participants at the meeting, playing a constructive role by defusing differences and gathering common understanding, Qin said.
Reiterating China's fair and objective stance on the issue, he said Chinese military vessels to participate in the joint mission is to implement the UN Security Council resolution 2118 and to echo the call of the UN and OPCW, contributing to international and regional peace.
Under the resolution, the OPCW is mandated to oversee the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons.
Qin stressed security is the top priority in shipping the chemicals abroad. "China understands that delays might occur."
China expects all parties to continue to create favorable conditions for the destruction of the weapons, the spokesman said.
The joint OPCW-UN mission in Syria said Saturday that getting most critical material out of Syria might not be possible by the December 31 deadline, due to volatile security conditions in Syria.
According to OPCW, all chemical weapons should be eliminated by June 30, 2014.