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Kerry hails Syria weapons action

US Secretary of State John Kerry has hailed the handing over of Syria's chemical weapons to Western governments as a significant step towards diminishing the threat of chemical warfare in the region.

But Mr Kerry, who was in Iraq today for talks with Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish leaders, also warned that the use of chlorine gas is a serious issue.

The final 8% of the massive stockpile, which includes mustard gas and raw materials for making sarin nerve gas, have been loaded on to Danish and Norwegian ships in the Syrian port of Latakia.

Syria's government agreed to surrender its arsenal last autumn when the US threatened punitive missile strikes after a deadly chemical attack on a rebel-held suburb of the capital Damascus.

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