Syria, Russia call on Israel to join NPT

08:07, May 12, 2010      

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Syrian and Russian presidents called on Israel on Tuesday to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a non-nuclear state and place its nuclear facilities under the safeguard of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev called for the universality of the NPT, according to a joint statement issued after their talks.

The two sides consider it necessary for Israel to join the NPT as a non-nuclear state and place its nuclear facilities under the comprehensive safeguard systems of the international nuclear watchdog, the statement said.

The two sides are coordinating efforts to turn the Middle East region into a zone free of weapons of mass destruction and means of delivering them, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, the statement said Russia and Syria recognize Iran's right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful proposes in accordance with the NPT provisions.

The two countries underline commitment to reaching a peaceful and diplomatic resolution regarding Iran's nuclear program, and support efforts exerted to find a negotiated solution, according to the statement.

The two sides endeavor to move the political dialogue forward and cooperate within the framework of the United Nations and its affiliated bodies on main world issues, in relation to stopping regional conflicts and finding peaceful settlements, halting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and confronting organized crimes, including the illegal drug trafficking, money laundering and the deterioration of environment, the statement said.

Syria and Russia will form a joint committee for holding regular political consultations between senior officials for regular and practical coordination in foreign policy and the bilateral relations, the statement said.

The two sides are keen to exchange regular visits between presidents of the two countries to coordinate bilateral, regional and international cooperation, it added.

The statement also encourages mutual economic, military and cultural cooperation between Damascus and Moscow.

Medvedev arrived in Damascus on Monday evening on an official two-day visit to Syria, just a week after the United States said it would renew sanctions against Damascus for supporting terrorist groups.

Medvedev said in a statement carried by Syria's al-Watan newspaper on Monday that both Syria and Russia should cooperate with other countries concerned to push forward peace and stability in the Middle East, and called for reviving partnership between the two countries.


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