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updated: 11/21/2013 9:11 AM

AP: Companies may help destroy Syria arms

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Associated Press

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- The global chemical weapons watchdog is inviting private companies to get involved in the destruction of Syria's stockpile of toxic agent and precursor chemicals.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is posting a request for "expressions of interest" from companies interested in playing a role in "the treatment and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous organic and inorganic chemicals."

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A senior OPCW official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly, said Thursday that more than 700 tons of chemicals listed can be destroyed at regular commercial facilities.

The most dangerous chemicals will still have to be destroyed at a secure facility under OPCW supervision. No site has yet been found and it is possible it will be carried out at sea.

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