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MOSCOW (AFP) – Syria wants to join the chemical weapons ban treaty and is ready to give other countries and the United Nations access to its arsenal, Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said Tuesday.

“We are ready to state where the chemical weapons are, to halt production of chemical weapons and show these installations to representatives of Russia, other countries and the UN,” Muallem said in a statement sent to Russia’s Interfax news agency.

He added: “We want to join the chemical weapons ban treaty. We will respect our commitments in relation to the treaty, including providing information on these weapons.”

The statement followed Russia’s surprise proposal Monday to secure Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile.

“Our backing of the Russian initiative shows our willingness to give up possession of all chemical weapons,” added Muallem at the the end of a two-day visit to Moscow.

Moscow has called on Washington to rule out military action against Syria to allow its plan to go ahead, saying it would be difficult to constrain Syria to disarm while under threat of such action.

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