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Syria Offers Nuclear Cooperation, IAEA Says

Monday, 12 Sep 2011 06:37 AM

VIENNA, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Syria has offered to cooperate with a U.N. nuclear watchdog probe into a suspected reactor site after years of stonewalling, and a meeting may take place in October, the Vienna-based agency's head said on Monday.

U.S. intelligence reports have said the Dair Alzour complex was a nascent, North Korean-designed reactor intended to produce plutonium for atomic weaponry, before Israeli warplanes reduced it to rubble in 2007.

Syria has said it was a non-nuclear military facility.

In June, the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency board of governors voted to report Syria to the Security Council, rebuking it for failing to cooperate with the agency probe.

Addressing the board on Monday, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said Syria in a letter last month had "stated its readiness to have a meeting with agency safeguards staff in Damascus in October."

The purpose of the talks would be to "agree on an action plan to resolve the outstanding issues" regarding the Dair Alzour site, Amano cited the Syrian letter as saying.

He said the IAEA had proposed that the meeting take place on Oct 10-11 "with the aim of advancing the agency's verification mission in Syria." (Reporting by Fredrik Dahl)

© 2015 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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