Assad says Syria will respect UN chemical weapons accords-Italian TV

Reuters

ROME, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Syria will respect United Nationsaccords on chemical weapons, President Bashar al-Assad toldItalian television station RaiNews24 on Sunday.

"We joined the international agreement against theacquisition and use of chemical weapons even before thisresolution was passed," he said when asked if Syria would complywith Friday's U.N. resolution.

The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution on Fridaythat demands the eradication of Syria's chemical weapons butdoes not threaten automatic punitive action against Assad'sgovernment if it does not comply.

"The central part of it is based on what we ourselveswanted. So it is not about a resolution, in reality it is ourown intention," he said, according to the Italian translation ofhis remarks.

"In 2003, the U.N. Security Council proposed liberating thisentire region from these arms and declaring the Middle East aregion free of chemical weapons. So it is obvious, we have torespect these conditions, it is part of our history," he said."We have to respect all treaties we sign."

The U.S.-Russia deal averted punitive U.S. military actionagainst Assad's government, which Washington blamed for the Aug.21 sarin nerve gas attack on a Damascus suburb that killedhundreds. The Syrian government and its ally Russia blamedanti-government rebels for the attack.

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