Syria is not seeking nuclear weapons but wants to have access to atomic energy for peaceful purposes through a collective Arab project, President Bashar al-Assad said in remarks published on Tuesday.
The Dubai-based Gulf News also quoted Assad as saying that the United States should have sought an investigation of a Syrian facility before it was destroyed in an Israeli air raid last September.
"Acquiring nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is an international trend that all countries are rightfully pursuing. In Syria, we want this to be done within an Arab context, which was discussed and agreed during the Arab Summit in Riyadh," he said during a visit to the United Arab Emirates.
Gulf Arabs have announced their own plans to develop nuclear energy for civilian purposes following a 2007 Arab summit that called on Arabs to develop atomic power.
"If anyone had a secret dossier on nuclear facilities in Syria with a Korean role, as they claim, then why did they wait for seven months before destroying a normal military facility by the Israeli raid? Why did they not resort to the UN nuclear energy organisation to carry out an inspection?"
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei said a team from the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency will visit Syria June 22-24.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Haziran 2008, 16:21