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Apr 2, 9:12 AM EDT

Germany providing ship for Syrian chemical mission

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BERLIN (AP) -- Germany says it will provide an armed escort ship as part of an international mission to destroy Syrian stockpiles of toxic chemicals.

Government spokesman Georg Streiter said Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet decided Wednesday to send a frigate to escort an American ship, the MV Cape Ray, in the Mediterranean Sea. The Cape Ray is to be loaded with chemicals including mustard gas and raw materials for making the nerve agent sarin. The chemicals will be processed and rendered inert on board.

The destruction of the chemicals is expected to start around the end of the month, and the proposal - which still needs parliamentary approval - would keep the frigate on hand until no later than year's end.

Germany has volunteered to incinerate the waste generated by the chemicals' destruction.

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