OPCW Director-General Has High-Level Meetings in Washington and Visits Blue Grass Chemical Weapons Destruction Facility


The OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, visited the United States from 30 August to 2 September where he met with senior U.S. officials in Washington D.C. and visited the chemical weapons storage depot and destruction facility in Blue Grass, Kentucky.

In Washington, Director-General Üzümcü met with the U.S. National Security Advisor, Gen. James L. Jones, Jr; with Ms Rose Gottemoeller, the Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance and Implementation; with Mr Andrew Weber, the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Biological and Chemical Defense Programs, who exercises oversight of the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program; and with Mr Kevin Wolfe, the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration in the Bureau of Industry and Security, among others.

In his meetings Director-General Üzümcü briefed the officials on the status of implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and discussed a number of CWC-related issues. He also participated in a group discussion with representatives of prominent NGOs and policy institutes. 

The Director-General then paid a 2-day visit to Blue Grass, Kentucky. He toured the chemical weapons storage depot there and a new chemical weapons destruction facility that is under construction, and received comprehensive briefings from the heads of the U.S. Army’s Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) and Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA) Program. He discussed issues related to the U.S. demilitarisation efforts with Mr Carmen Spencer, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Elimination of Chemical Weapons), and Mr Arthur Hopkins, the Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Chemical and Biological Defense Programs, Treaties and Threat Reduction, together with other senior officials present.

Briefing by the head of the Blue Grass CW Storage Facility for members of the OPCW delegation.

Entry to storage igloo for VX-rockets at the Blue Grass facility.

Delegation members preparing to enter the VX storage igloo.

Director-General Üzümcü donning protective mask before entering VX storage igloo.

OPCW delegation members inside the VX storage igloo at the Blue Grass facility.

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