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Assad: I will Comply with UN Call to Dismantle Chem. Weapons

Makes video pledge following passage of UN Security Council Resolution

- Common Dreams staff

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.(AFP Photo / SANA)Syrian President Bashar al-Assad pledged Saturday to comply with last week's UN Security Council resolution mandating the dismantling of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.

In an interview with Italy’s RAI News 24 TV, which Assad posted to his personal Facebook page on Sunday, he said that Syria has agreed to join the international chemical weapons convention and will comply with the UN Security Council plan.

“Of course we have to comply," he stated. "This is our history to comply with every treaty we sign. According to every chapter in the agreement, we don’t have any reservation. That’s why we decided to join the agreement."

Assad also said that he is willing to discuss a political solution, but he will not do so until they have given up their arms.

The UN Security Council resolution, which passed Friday, marks the start of efforts to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons by 2014. The resolution also calls for Syria to face consequences in the event of noncompliance, although it is not clear what exactly these consequences would be. The resolution does not allow military force, and in the event of noncompliance, the UN's response would be be decided by the passage of another resolution.

The UN Security Council also agreed to convene an international peace conference "as soon as possible" and endorsed a roadmap for political transition.

The US and Russia remain sharply divided over use of force, with the US insisting on maintaining threat of force while Russia stands opposed, arguing this would be disruptive to efforts to achieve a peaceful solution.

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