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US appeals to India over Syria ties
Leaked document reveals Washington asked government in New Delhi to look into talks between commercial companies and Syrian elements, which expressed interest in equipment for development of chemical weapons

A WikiLeaks document released Thursday night reveals that the United States had asked the Indian government to intervene in a potential deal between local companies and the Syrian Scientific Research Council, a body directly involved in the country's chemical weapons program.

 

The goods the Americans reported on a required for the production of chemical and biological weapons, whose distribution is defined by international organizations as "dangerous".

 

 

According to the leaked memo, the American Embassy in New Delhi received information that Syria was trying to attain heat exchangers, glass materials and accessory equipment for nuclear reactors, which alongside commercial purposes could also be used for the development of chemical and biological weapons.

 

The cable noted that all the items sought by Damascus were on the list of the Australia Group, an international body supervising the exports of goods that contribute to the development of chemical and biological weapons.

 

The Americans expressed their fear in 2008 that this was the goal of the Syrian officials, whose representatives visited the Indian companies' plants at the end of that year.

 

According to the cable, Washington estimated that the companies were close to sign a contract. In an official request, the Americans informed the Indian government of the expected sale to the "Syrian end user" and asked for New Delhi's help in probing the matter in a bid to prevent the distribution of weapons.

 

 

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