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Is it my turn! fears Israel after Syria’s acceptance

Is it my turn! fears Israel after Syria’s acceptance
Highlights

Wary of international pressures that Israel may also be asked to submit to UN supervision of its chemical weapons after Syria, the Jewish state...

  • Obama hopes Iran will take cue from Syrian crisis
  • US and Russia divided over the fate of Assad

Jerusalem (PTI): Wary of international pressures that Israel may also be asked to submit to UN supervision of its chemical weapons after Syria, the Jewish state remains adamant that it will not ratify chemical arms treaty as long as other states in the region refuse to recognise it.

Russian officials during recent weeks have repeatedly drawn a connection between Syria's chemical weapons and Israeli military capabilities, something that has not gone unnoticed among officials here. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Syria's chemical weapons exist as a response to Israeli military capabilities, while his ambassador to Paris told Radio France that Damascus' chemical weapons were meant to preserve its balance of deterrence against "nuclear" Israel. Israel signed the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993, but never ratified it.

Maintaining a policy of ambiguity around its nuclear programme, Israel has not agreed to submit itself to international inspections or to refrain from steps that would violate the convention.Syria, which is suspected of having the largest stockpile of chemical weapons arsenals in the world, has not even signed the convention, nor has Israel's other neighbour, Egypt, which also has a chemical weapons programme.

US President Barack Obama said that he has exchanged letters with Iran's new president Hassan Rouhani and hoped that Tehran will take a cue from the raging Syrian crisis that there is scope for resolving Iran's nuclear programme diplomatically. "So my suspicion is that the Iranians recognise they shouldn't draw a lesson that we haven't struck to think we won't strike Iran. On the other hand, what is what they should draw from this lesson is that there is the potential of resolving these issues diplomatically," he said.

Obama also said a US-Russian agreement offers a chance to destroy Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons and promises to end the threat they pose to Syrians and the world. "Putin has a different attitude about the Assad regime," Obama said. On the other hand, US warned Syria that it has taken no options off the table after striking a deal with Russia to destroy Damascus's chemical weapons stockpile and asserted that military action against the Assad regime still remains "real".

"The threat of force remains, the threat is real," US Secretary of State John Kerry said at a joint press conference in here with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Syria hails 'victory'

Damascus (AFP): The US-Russian plan to remove Syria's chemical weapons is a "victory" that averts a war, a Syrian minister said on Sunday, as Washington's top diplomat briefed Israel about the landmark deal.

"On one hand, it helps the Syrians emerge from the crisis and on the other it has allowed for averting war against Syria...," Minister of State for National Reconciliation Ali Haidar told Russian news agency Ria Novosti. "It's a victory for Syria that was achieved thanks to our Russian friends."

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