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Rice, to visit Middle East Photo: AP
Rice, to visit Middle East Photo: AP
 
Rice with Israeli PM Olmert Photo: GPO
Rice with Israeli PM Olmert Photo: GPO
 
 

Rice concerned over Syrian nukes

In TV interview, US secretary of state addresses reports of possible nuclear facilities in Syria, says, 'We have to have policies that prevent the world's most dangerous people from having the world's most dangerous weapons'

Ynet
Published: 09.14.07, 11:39 / Israel News

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in an interview on Fox New's Sean Hannity Show Thursday night expressed concern following reports that Syria may be building nuclear facilities, saying, "We have to have policies that prevent the world's most dangerous people from having the world's most dangerous weapons."

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Rice did not mention any possible attack on Syria, but said the United States was working with its allies to "shut down activities".

 

"That's why we have a Proliferation Security Initiative that tries to intercept dangerous cargos. So this is something that's been at the highest point of the President's agenda since he came into power and we work every day and we watch it every day and we're vigilant about it and we're determined," Rice explained.

 

When asked about her political plans for the 2008 presidential election, specifically if she would run for vice president, the secretary of state said, "It's not for me."

 

"I'm going to do everything I can to help carry out the President's agenda and to press forward on issues like the Middle East peace and disarming some of these more dangerous states and worrying about -- making sure that we fulfill our commitments to our Iraqi allies and our Afghanistan allies. And then I'm going to happily go back to Stanford."

 

In recent days news agencies around the world have published reports that the Israel Air Force operated in Syria last week.

 

On Thursday The Washington Post reported that Intelligence gathered by the United States over the past six months points to possible cooperation between North Korea and Damascus on building a nuclear facility on Syrian land.

 

The report said the evidence for the claim came primarily from Israel, including satellite images that led US officials to believe the facility could be used to produce material for nuclear weapons.

 

On Wednesday, a New York Times report quoting a US official said that recent Israeli reconnaissance flights over Syria revealed possible nuclear installations that Israeli officials estimate might have been supplied with material from North Korea.

 

The US secretary of state will visit the Middle East next week to press Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts amid doubts from some Arab states about the usefulness of an international meeting she plans to host in the fall, the State Department said Wednesday.

 

Rice will make stops in Israel and the Palestinian territories on Sept. 19 and 20 to urge Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Mahmoud Abbas to build on recent positive steps and lay the groundwork for the upcoming meeting that President Bush announced in July, spokesman Sean McCormack said.

 

Her visit will follow an agreement reached between the two sides this week to set up senior negotiating teams with an eye toward reaching a general outline of a peace deal in time for the conference, which has yet to be scheduled but is expected in November.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report

 

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