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IAEA chief says atomic report on Syria 'not conclusive'

by Staff Writers
Dubai (AFP) Nov 17, 2008
UN atomic watchdog head Mohamed ElBaradei said on Monday that a report on Syrian nuclear activity is "not conclusive" and he called for more cooperation from both Syria and Israel.

The report will show that "we still have work to do," said the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"We are having a report by the end of this week with regards to Syria ... It's still not conclusive," he told reporters at an economic conference in Dubai. "We are taking the issue very seriously."

"We need more cooperation from Syria ... We need also cooperation from Israel," ElBaradei said.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said last week he was stunned by media reports that the IAEA had found secret atomic material on a site in northern Syria bombed by Israel in September 2007.

"Such information hawked by anonymous diplomats even before ... ElBaradei has presented his report have the sole purpose of exerting pressure on Syria," Muallem said.

"There was uranium but dosn't mean there was a reactor ... It's not highly enriched uranium," said ElBaradei, whose inspectors visited the bombed Al-Kibar site last June, taking samples.

Washington claims that Al-Kibar, which was razed to the ground by Israeli planes, was a nuclear facility built with North Korean help and close to becoming operational.

It has provided intelligence and photographic evidence to support its claims, which have been denied by Damascus.

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Syria 'astounded' by reports of nuclear find
Damascus (AFP) Nov 12, 2008
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said on Wednesday he was stunned by media reports that the UN nuclear watchdog had found atomic material on a site bombed by Israel last year.

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