UN agency in Syria nuclear talks, no word on outcome

October 27, 2011 16:58


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VIENNA - Senior UN nuclear inspectors held talks with Syrian officials in Damascus this week to try to kick-start a long-stalled probe into suspected atomic activities in the Arab state, but it was not immediately clear whether any progress was made.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Vienna-based UN nuclear watchdog, said that two days of discussions took place as planned on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Syrian capital.

The outcome will be reported to the IAEA's 35-nation board, which next meets on Nov. 17-18, the agency said in response to a question. It gave no further detail.

US intelligence reports have said that before an Israeli air strike destroyed the Deir al-Zor site in the Syrian desert in 2007, it housed a nascent, North Korean-designed reactor intended to produce plutonium for atomic weaponry.

Syria says it was a non-nuclear military facility, but the IAEA concluded in May that Deir al-Zor was "very likely" to have been a reactor that should have been declared.

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