Dismantling Syria's chemical weapons arsenal could be litmus test for region, says Turkey

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Turkey's President Abdulla Gül

The agreement to eliminate Syria's arsenal of chemical weapons should be seen as an "opportunity."

That's what Turkey's President Abdullah Gül told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

United States and Russia reached an agreement on a framework for Syria to surrender its chemical weapons and place them under international control following last month's sarin gas attack on a Damascus suburb.

Syria also agreed to adhere to the Chemical Weapons Convention which bans the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons.

President Gül hopes this agreement could be replicated in other parts of the Middle East.

"As Syria's neighbour, Turkey will appreciate more than most the complete and verifiable destruction of these weapons. Nevertheless, we cannot forget that chemical weapons were used against Syrian civilians only a month ago. The perpetrators of this crime against humanity must be held accountable and brought to justice. I hope it will be a first step in the formation of a security architecture to ensure the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East."

Duration:  40″ 

Turkey's President Gül also underscored the importance of a comprehensive political strategy to address the situation in Syria.

He criticized the failure of the Security Council to act because of "political differences, balance of power politics and geopolitical considerations."

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration:  1’35″


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