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Syrian Deputy PM Denies Government To Propose Cease-Fire

September 20, 2013

The party of Syria's Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil has denied reports that he said the government would propose a cease-fire at planned peace talks.

On September 19, Britain's "The Guardian" newspaper published an interview with Jamil in which he was quoted as saying the government is ready to call for a cease-fire if a peace conference can be arranged as originally planned in Geneva.

Jamil also said the country's civil war had reached a stalemate, with neither side strong enough to win.

The People's Will Party led by Jamil, however, said his remarks had been "abridged and distorted" and accused "The Guardian" interviewer of being "neither precise nor professional."

Jamil is one of two members of the Syrian cabinet from small secular parties in a government dominated by President Bashar al-Assad's Ba'ath party.

Damascus Gives Chemical Weapons Details To Watchdog

Meanwhile, in related news, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says it has received details of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal from Damascus.

A spokesman for The Hague-based organization said on September 20 that it had "received part of the verification and we expect more."

President Bashar al-Assad's regime is believed to possess some 1,000 tons of chemical toxins.

Damascus has agreed to destroy them under a joint Russia-U.S. proposal designed to avert a U.S. military strike on Syria.

In a separate statement on September 20, the OPCW said it has postponed a meeting scheduled for September 22 to discuss the U.S.-Russian plan.

The OPCW has already postponed the meeting several times this week.

According to diplomatic sources, a draft text to be discussed at the meeting had not yet been agreed upon by Washington and Moscow.

Based on reporting by the BBC, dpa, Reuters, and AFP

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/article/25112622.html

Copyright (c) 2013. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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