December 31 deadline for the removal of the most critical chemical weapons material from Syria will not be met, according to the United Nations and an international monitoring group.

Officials in a joint statement issued in the Syrian port city of Latakia blamed a number of “technical difficulties,” adding that preparations continue “in readiness” for the transport of the materials for destruction.

The U.N. and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said the “continuing volatility in overall security conditions” have “constrained planned movements.”

Logistical challenges and inclement weather also contributed to the delay, the groups said.

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