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Third Batch Of Syria Chemical-Weapons Material Shipped Out

A third consignment of chemical weapons material has been shipped out of Syria.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which oversees the effort to destroy Syria's chemical weapons, said on February 10 that the material was transferred to a Norwegian cargo vessel accompanied by a naval escort of Chinese, Danish, Norwegian, and Russian ships.

Syria is more than a month behind schedule on the timetable for the destruction of its chemical weapons, but insists it will meet the June 30 deadline.

Meanwhile, a new round of talks between the Syrian government and the opposition began in Geneva on February 10.

UN-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said he will talk to the two sides separately for the next few days.

Brahimi will reportedly tackle the key issues of stopping violence, setting up a transitional governing body, and plans for national institutions and reconciliation.

It is unclear how long the latest negotiations will last. The first round of talks last month ended with no major progress reported.

Meanwhile, there are reports of a new humanitarian truce being negotiated in the besieged city of Homs.

On February 9, more than 600 civilians were evacuated from rebel-held areas of the city.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP