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Syria denies political considerations in accepting UN observers


17:00, May 02, 2012

DAMASCUS, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Syrian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Jihad Makdissi has denied that his country is resorting to political reasons in accepting international observers on ground, expressing astonishment at comments made by the United Nations' peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous that Syria has denied visas for three observers.

"The agreement's text, which has recently been signed in Damascus with the advance team of UN observers, stipulates a clear and explicit consent of both parties on the nationality of observers," Makdissi said in a statement to the pro-government al- Watan daily published Wednesday.

"More than 124 nationalities are welcome in Syria," he said.

Makdissi underlined that there is no rejection from the Syrian side, adding that the basis of the agreement is that Syria practices its full sovereign rights and protect the safety of the observers, "particularly that Syrians have concerns over some nationals, whose countries have a main role in imposing sanctions on Syria that targeted the livelihood of its citizens."

But Ladsous said Tuesday that Syria has already denied visas to three international observers without reasons. But he declined to disclose their nationalities.

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