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Khan offered nuke missiles to Syria: Assad

Source: PTI
December 20, 2007 08:26 IST
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Pakistani weapons smugglers, posing as envoys of disgraced nuclear scientist A Q Khan, offered to sell nuclear missiles to Syria in 2001, but President Bashar Assad turned it down.

"In 2001, we received a letter from a man introducing himself as envoy of Abdul Qadeer Khan. We do not know if the letter was genuine or if it was an Israeli trap," Assad said in an interview to an Austrian newspaper.

"Anyhow, we rejected the offer. We are not interested in nuclear weapons or a nuclear facility and I never met Khan," he said.

Assad also spoke about an Israel Air Force strike on an alleged North Korean nuclear facility in Syria claiming that it was a "military base under construction."

"Since it was a military installation, I cannot go into more details but don't come to the conclusion that it was a nuclear facility," The Jerusalem Post quoted Assad as saying to the Austrian newspaper.

"We could have responded to the strike by firing a missile but it would have given Israel an excuse to start a war and we did not want that," the Syrian President added.

Assad ruled out any chances of an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord by 2008 as declared at last month's Annapolis conference saying that the US government will be busy with elections.

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