Assad: Israel should be first to disarm

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad
Syria President Bashar Assad says Israel should be the first to disarm from weapons of mass destructions, since it has nuclear, biological and chemical arms.

He added on Thursday that that all countries in the Mideast should be held to international protocol in order to achieve stability in the region.

Syria decided to cede control of its chemical weapons because of a Russian proposal and not the threat of US military intervention, Interfax news agency quoted President Bashar Assad as saying in an interview with Russia's state-run Rossiya-24 channel.

"Syria is placing its chemical weapons under international control because of Russia. The US threats did not influence the decision," he said.

Assad also told Rossiya-24 that Syria would submit documents to the United Nations for an agreement governing the handover of its chemical arsenal.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the initiative will not succeed unless Washington abandons plans for potential air strikes on Syria on the pretext of an alleged Aug. 21 poison gas attack which US President Barack Obama blames on Syrian government forces.

Syria has denied any involvement in the attack, but agreed to Moscow's proposal that it give up its chemical weapons stocks.

BA/BA

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