Russia praises Syria's readiness to assist with UN-led chemical arms inquiry

Moscow has applauded the Syrian authorities' readiness to cooperate with visiting United Nations experts to establish all how many instances of chemical weapons use have occurred in the country.

Moscow has applauded the Syrian authorities' readiness to cooperate with visiting United Nations experts to establish all how many instances of chemical weapons use have occurred in the country.

"We applaud the Syrian government's constructive approach toward cooperating with UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane and the head of the UN experts who are currently in Damascus to verify [Swedish chemical weapons expert Ake] Sellstrom's claims regarding the use of chemical weapons in Syria," the Russian Foreign Ministry said on its website following a meeting of Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Syrian Ambassador to Moscow Riyad Haddad.

During the meeting, Bogdanov reiterated Moscow's fundamental conviction that the Syrians themselves should settle the crisis in their country as soon as possible through broad dialogue and a political process that would be free from any foreign interference and would respect Syria's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

Haddad, for his part, "reaffirmed the Syrian government's readiness to take part in the international conference on Syria, which is being prepared in accordance with the Russian-American agreements dated May 7, without any preconditions."

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