Syrian FM regrets U.S. reaction to possible Scud missile transfer

11:28, April 21, 2010      

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Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al- Moallem Tuesday expressed his regret that the U.S. Department of State summoned a Syrian diplomat over a possible transfer of Scud missiles to Hezbollah.

Al-Moallem said in a statement the United States was warned against ignoring the Israeli motives behind these allegations, which aim at diverting attention from Israel's crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories and the siege of the Gaza Strip, the official SANA news agency reported.

The foreign minister said that the U.S. Department of State summoned Syria's Deputy Chief of Mission in Washington, Zouheir Jabbour, on Monday on the basis of the Israeli claims.

Al-Moallem noted that Syria had earlier issued a statement refuting Israel's claims that Syria was supplying Scud missiles to the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah.

The statement said that by spreading such allegations, Israel intended to raise tensions in the region and create an atmosphere for a possible Israeli aggression.

However, a U.S. official said Tuesday that the United States has not reached any "particular judgment" on the issue.

"We are raising it because we have seen reporting on it, and we are studying it closely. The United States has not reached a judgment as to whether such a transfer has taken place, but this is not a new issue," U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

Source: Xinhua


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