Assad: Syria to hand over chem arms in 1 month, only if US drops strike plans
Syria will start handing over information on its chemical weapons to international groups a month after it signs the Chemical Weapons Convention, President Bashar Assad has told a Russian TV channel.
Damascus has agreed to a Russia proposal to put its chemical weapons stockpiles under international control.
“Syria is handing over its chemical weapons under international supervision because of Russia,” Assad said in an interview with state-run news channel Rossiya-24. “The US threats did not influence the decision.”
Within days Damascus promises to submit to the United Nations all documents required for joining the chemical weapons ban treaty. A month after Syria signs the Chemical Weapons Convention it will start handing over information on chemical weapons to international organizations.
“I believe the agreement will come into force a month after the signing and Syria will start submitting data on its chemical weapons stockpile to international organizations. These are standard procedures and we are going to stick to them,” he said.
Meanwhile, the UN says that it has received a letter from Syria on the country’s intention to join the treaty banning the production of chemical arms, their stockpiling and use. The Syrian government’s letter of accession is being translated, AP cited UN associate spokesman Farhan Haq as saying Thursday. Signing the letter accession begins the process for a country to become party to the international agreement, the official said.
“It doesn’t mean that Syria will sign the documents, fulfill the obligations and that’s it. It’s a bilateral process aimed, first of all, at making the US stop pursuing its policy of threats against Syria,” Assad said, adding that a lot would also depend on the extent to which Russia’s proposal is accepted.
“Terrorists are trying to provoke American strike against Syria,” Assad said. Rebel forces are receiving chemical weapons from abroad, he added.