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Syria: Search Israel for nuclear weapons

9 May 2010 17:42

The Syrian leader says Western countries should inspect Israel for nuclear weapons instead of denying Iran the right to use peaceful nuclear energy.

“We agree that every country has a right to peaceful nuclear energy, and that we should free the region of all weapons of mass destruction,” Syria’s state news agency, Sana quoted Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as saying in a meeting with visiting President Abdullah Gul in Istanbul.

“Syria believes that the international community should begin by inspecting Israel for nuclear weapons,” al-Assad added.

Israel — believed to be the sole possessor of nuclear arms in the Middle East — accuses Iran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), of developing atomic weapons.

Iran has categorically denied the allegation, saying nuclear weapons have no place in the country’s political and religious doctrine.

Syrian and Turkish leaders further called for a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear issue.

“Every political agreement must be based on international law,” al-Assad said.

Turkey and Syria have opposed new sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program as demanded by the US.

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