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Syria 'will comply' with UN arms resolution: Assad

The Syrian President claims Damascus is committed to comply with chemicals-related UN Security Council resolution as long as Washington 'is honest'

AFP , Sunday 29 Sep 2013
Bashar al-Assad
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. (Photo: Reuters)
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Damascus "will comply" with a UN Security Council resolution ordering the destruction of the country's chemical arsenal, said President Bashar al-Assad, in remarks published by state news agency SANA.

"Of course we will comply with it, and history proves that we have always honoured all treaties we have signed," Assad said during an interview with Italian broadcaster Rai News 24, whose content was published by SANA.

Assad's remarks were his first since the UN Security Council passed a resolution Friday ordering the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons and condemning a devastating attack near Damascus.

Resolution 2118, the result of bruising negotiations between the United States and Russia, gives binding force to a plan drawn up by the two to eliminate Assad's chemical arms.

In the wide-ranging interview, Assad said that "so long as the United States is honest," a US-Iranian rapprochement would have a "positive" impact on Syria and the Middle East.

On Friday, US President Barack Obama and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani spoke on the phone for 15 minutes, in the first contact between leaders of the two countries in over three decades.

Iran is Assad's main regional ally, while the United States backs the revolt that broke out in March 2011.

Asked whether he thought Europe could contribute to a proposed peace process for Syria, Assad said most European countries "are unable" to play a role.

"Frankly, most European countries are unable to play a role in Geneva 2, because they do not have all the necessary factors to succeed in such a role," he said.

Though it has been postponed several times, a proposed peace conference for war-torn Syria dubbed Geneva 2 is now being planned for November.

The process, which was first proposed by the United States and Russia, envisages bringing regime and rebel representatives to the negotiating table.

More than 110,000 people have been killed since the uprising began in March 2011 and millions of Syrians have fled their homes.

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