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The so-called Syrian opposition was created by the neighbouring countries of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, adviser to the Syrian president Buseyn Shaaban said in an interview on the Russia Today TV channel on Wednesday.

According to Shaaban, there are groups and gangs created by third forces in Syria, rather than the opposition.


Destroying Syria's chemical weapons outside the country would be the best option, given its ongoing conflict, the head of the international watchdog overseeing the operation said Tuesday, dpa reported.

A Syrian proposal "that the destruction of chemical weapons be carried out outside of the country constitutes the most viable option," Ahmet Uzumcu, director general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, told a meeting of the body's executive council.


Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem confirmed Tuesday to UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi that the Syrian government will attend talks in Geneva aimed at ending the country's 31-month conflict, dpa reporterd.

Al-Moallem told Brahimi that Syria would take part in the talks "on the basis of the Syrian people's exclusive right to decide upon their political future and choosing their leadership, rejecting any form of foreign interference," state television reported.

No date has been set for the conference, but the Arab League has said it might take place on November 23-24.


Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority, the grand mufti Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh, has told young Saudis they should not go to Syria to fight in the civil war Al Jazeera reported.

Saudi Arabia has backed the rebels battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sent weapons, and called on world powers to "enable" Syrians to protect themselves.

"This is all wrong, it's not obligatory," the grand mufti said in a lecture, according to a report on Monday in the Saudi newspaper Al-Hayat.


Western and Arab powers agreed with Syrian opposition leaders Tuesday that President Bashar al-Assad should be excluded from any future government, but urged the rebels to take part in a peace conference in Geneva, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said after a meeting in London that the rebels had to overcome their differences and commit themselves to the talks in the Swiss city that are due to take place in late November.


Syria officially joined Monday the United Nations convention banning chemical weapons, the spokesman of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said.

"As of today Syria became a full-fledged state member of the convention," Michael Luhan told dpa.

He said the move comes after "the decision taken a few weeks ago at Syria's request to fast forward the application to enable us to get on with our work."

Around 60 members from the UN-backed OPCW is overseeing the destruction of Syria's stockpile as well as some of its chemical weapons production equipment.


Secretary of State John Kerry called on Monday for a peace conference on Syria "very soon" but said peace would not be possible without a transition government to replace President Bashar al-Assad, Reuters reported.

"We believe it is urgent to set a day, to convene the conference and work toward a new Syria," Kerry told reporters after meeting United Nations special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi in London.


UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday he will ask world leaders to act to stop the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict, dpa reported.

"I will make a strong appeal to world leaders in next week's UN General Assembly for action" in Syria, Ban told a news conference. He said also that a UN Security Council resolution on Syria should have teeth.

Based on findings that hundreds of people were killed by chemical weapons last month in the suburbs of Damascus, Ban called for the perpetrators of the attacks to be brought to justice.


The Syrian authorities handed over to Russia evidence proving that opposition forces were allegedly involved in the use of chemical weapons last month, a senior Russian diplomat said.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Tuesday night after the meeting with his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem in Damascus that "this evidence must be analyzed", RIA Novosti reported.


The Syrian regime has handed Russia new materials implicating rebels in a chemical attack outside Damascus on August 21, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Wednesday Al Arabiya reported
"The corresponding materials were handed to the Russian side. We were told that they were evidence that the rebels are implicated in the chemical attack," Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies after talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, according to Agence France-Presse.