Jordan guards against Syria chemical weapons use

Reuters , Wednesday 25 Jul 2012

Jordan has taken precautions in case chemical weapons are used in Syria, the Jordanian foreign minister said on Wednesday, reflecting regional concern about a Syrian threat to use such weapons against foreign forces.

The Syrian government acknowledged on Monday that the country had chemical weapons. It said it would not use them to put down the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad but that it could use them against any foreign forces that intervened.

Asked about Jordan's preparations if such a scenario unfolded in neighbour Syria, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said: "Jordan does not interfere in the internal affairs (of nations) but we have taken all precautions to protect our nation's safety and national security."

Talking to reporters after a meeting with Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi in Cairo, he declined to give further details, adding that talk of Syria's use of chemical weapons was "still only hypothetical until now and is not a reality".

Arab League foreign ministers on Sunday asked Assad to step down, offering him and his family a "safe exit" in return.

Judeh said 140,000 Syrians had fled to Jordan since the start of the Syrian revolt in March last year.

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