Syrian president Bashar Assad told Fox News’ Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent Greg Palkot and former Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich tonight that the United States could take possession of his state’s chemical weapons in order to destroy them without preconditions.
When Assad noted that destroying the weapons, as joining the international chemical-weapons treaty will require, would involve a great deal of time and money, Kucinich asked if him if he was willing to let the United States take possession of the weapons.
“If the American administration is ready to pay money and to take the responsibility of taking toxic materials to the United States, why don’t they do it?” the Syrian president said. “But of course it’s going to be in cooperation with the specified organization,” he said, presumably referring to the U.N.-affiliated organization that enforces the international chemical-weapons convention.
Kucinich asked whether there would be any conditions on such a move, and Assad said there were none.
“Send it anywhere. It’s going to be destroyed, it could be destroyed anywhere,” he said.
Under the framework currently in place, which was agreed to in Geneva last Saturday by Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the Syrian government is expected to present an inventory of all of its chemical weapons facilities and supplies by this Saturday, and the destruction of the weapons is supposed to be complete by mid 2014.