ZAGREB: Croatia's ports will not be used for unloading chemical agents from Syria before their destruction on a US ship, as Italy has accepted to take part in the process, an official said Sunday.
"Although Croatia was ready... it will not be done here, as we have been approached relatively late and Italy has accepted after long discussions to have it done," Croatia's Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said according to Hina state news agency.
Last week, Milanovic said that Croatia, a member of the European Union and NATO, had been involved in consultations on the possible transport of "precursors" -- ingredients for chemical weapons -- from Syria through the Mediterranean.
Under a UN Security Council resolution passed in September, Syria's chemical weapons must be destroyed by June 30, 2014.
A roadmap to rid Syria of its chemical stockpile, adopted last month by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), says "priority" weapons must be removed from the country by December 31.
The OPCW -- which won the Nobel Peace Prize in October -- has spent years trying to rid the world of chemical weapons in relative obscurity before being thrust into the global limelight by the Syrian crisis.
A deal for Syria to surrender its chemical arsenal narrowly averted US airstrikes on the country, after Washington said 1,400 people were gassed near Damascus in August.