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It's Not Just Syria: 6 Other Countries Haven't Banned Chemical Arms

Many holdouts remain to joining the 1993 international Chemical Weapons Convention.

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Asked about the proposal to transfer Syria’s chemical stocks to international control, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters Monday, “I think that would be proper [thing] for Syria to do, to agree to these proposals.

“Then I am sure that the international community will [take] very swift action to make sure that these chemical weapons stocks will be stored safely and will be destroyed. I do not have any doubt and worry about that. First and foremost, Syria must agree positively to this,” he added.

Harking back in history, Zunes told IPS Syria’s chemical weapons programme was established in response to Israel’s development of a chemical and nuclear arsenal.

The Syrian government has long expressed its willingness to give up its chemical weapons as part of a regional disarmament agreement as called for in U.N. Security Council resolution 687, which stated that Iraqi disarmament was the first step in establishing a regional disarmament regime.

When it had a non-permanent seat on the Security Council in December 2002, Syria introduced a draft resolution to this effect, but it was not tabled due to a threatened U.S. veto, he added.

Zunes said for more than 45 years, the Syrians have witnessed successive U.S. administrations provide massive amounts of armaments to a neighbouring country with a vastly superior military capability which has invaded, occupied, and colonised Syria’s Golan province in the southwest.

In 2007, the United States successfully pressured Israel to reject peace overtures from the Syrian government in which the Syrians offered to recognise Israel and agree to strict security guarantees in return for a complete Israeli withdrawal from occupied Syrian territory, he noted.

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