Syria to join chemical arms convention soonest: Envoy

Moscow, Sep 12 (IANS/ITAR -TASS) Syria will join the international chemical weapons convention, the country's ambassador to Russia said Thursday.

Ambassador Riyad Haddad said that his country has accepted the Russian proposal on his country's chemical weapons stockpile and the Syrian government is set to join the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction in the shortest possible timeframe.

On Monday, Russia had proposed a fresh initiative on the Syrian crisis, calling for putting the chemical stockpiles of the Damascus government under international control, a move that was designed to spare Syria a possible US military strike over alleged use of poisonous gas by the Syrian government in populated areas Aug 21.

"We have fully accepted the Russian initiative, this is a very good and great initiative," Haddad told ITAR-TASS.

He said though Syria has agreed to the Russian initiative, many details still needed to be negotiated.

"As you know there is the Charter of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and it has its rules. It is necessary to observe them," the ambassador said.

But, at the same he gave the assurance that "Syria was ready to join the Chemical Weapons Convention at once in compliance with requests of friends in Russia".

"This is purely a technical issue," he said

--IANS-ITAR/TASS

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