Syria's Bashar Assad vowed Sunday to abide by a United Nations resolution ordering him to abandon his chemical weapons.
The U.N. Security Council on Friday approved a resolution calling on Syria to turn over its arsenal to the international community. The resolution calls for consequences for non-compliance but no automatic trigger, giving Russia a chance to veto any military response.
Assad said it was “self-evident” that his armed forces would seek to protect U.N. weapons inspectors as they seek to fulfill their mission amid Syria's civil war. More than 100,000 people have died since the uprising against Assad began in March, 2011.
Assad said he was open to a last-ditch peace conference aimed at finding a political solution that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon now says could happen in November. He said he'd have to see the framework for the talks before deciding on a delegation, adding that the opposition would first have to lay down its arms.
“When they are armed you don't call them opposition, you call them terrorists,” Assad said. “Regarding the militants, if they give up their arms, we'll be ready to discuss with them anything like any other citizen.”
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