Israel skeptical on Syria giving up chemical arms

JERUSALEM (AP) — Senior Israeli politicians have voiced skepticism about Russia’s proposal for Syria to surrender its chemical weapons to international control.

Avigdor Lieberman, who chairs the parliament’s foreign affairs and defense committee, told Israel Radio on Tuesday that Syria could use the proposal to “buy time.”

He says Syrian President Bashar “Assad is winning time and lots of it.”

Lieberman, an ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, says Israel doesn’t have details of the Russian offer and that the logistics of a weapons transfer are unclear.

President Shimon Peres warned on Monday that negotiations over a weapons transfer would be “tough” and that Syria is “not trustworthy.”

Lieberman says Syria is likely stalling, as Iran allegedly did during early nuclear negotiations when faced with an offer to transfer enriched uranium stockpiles abroad.

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