Syria says it joined chemical treaty on Thursday

In this undated file photo, released Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad gestures as he speaks during an interview with a Russian newspaper, in Damascus, Syria. Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime has a host of options if the United States launches military strikes against it. It could directly retaliate with rockets or unleash allies like Hezbollah against Western targets. Or it could do nothing -- and score propaganda points as a victim of "U.S. aggression." The regime's choice, analysts say, will likely depend on the magnitude of the U.S. military action -- the bigger and more sustained the strikes, the more likely the government in Damascus will feel compelled to respond. (AP Photo/SANA, File)

September 12, 2013 5:02:37 PM PDT
Syria's U.N. ambassador says that Syria has become a full member of the treaty banning the use of chemical weapons as of Thursday.

Bashar Ja'afari told reporters he presented Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with "the instrument of accession" to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

He said President Bashar Assad signed a legislative decree earlier Thursday declaring Syria's approval to join the treaty, which requires destruction of all chemical weapons.

U.N. associate spokesman Farhan Haq said "the secretary-general welcomes this development, noting that, as depository of the convention, he has long called for universal accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention."

"Given recent events, he hopes that the current talks in Geneva will lead to speedy agreement on a way forward which will be endorsed and assisted by the international community," Haq said.

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