Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has stressed his country's commitment to the chemical weapons treaty as part of a broader deal between Russia and the US to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons arsenal, media reported Thursday.
In an interview with Fox News, Assad reiterated Syria's abidance by the chemical weapons treaty, which his administration joined last week, in terms of its conditions that prohibit manufacturing, stockpiling and distributing chemical weapons.
He said, according to the estimates he received, destroying the stockpiles would cost $1 billion and would take roughly a year.
Also, he noted that Damascus's abidance by the treaty had nothing to do with the threats of the US administration.
Damascus rejected Washington's accusation that the government troops gassed civilians with nerve agents during an attack Aug 21 near the capital Damascus -- rather, it pointed the finger at the rebels and said it has evidence that could incriminate them.
After talks with Syrian officials Wednesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said he had received "additional evidence" from the Syrian government on the rebels' use of chemical gas near Damascus.
Moreover, Russian diplomats may present the new evidence at a UN Security Council meeting Thursday.