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Syria Dominates UN General Assembly

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Syria and its chemical weapons continue to dominate the United Nations General Assembly session in New York.

Speaker after speaker on the assembly's second day Tuesday condemned the use of poison gas against civilians. They demanded that Syria keep its promise to rid itself of such weapons.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy spoke for 28 European Union members when he called the chemical weapons attack last month near Damascus an abhorrent crime against humanity. He pleaded with the Security Council to adopt a clear resolution spelling out what Syria must do to eliminate its arsenal.

Van Rompuy also said the EU hopes the expectations brought on by new leadership in Iran will mean concrete steps toward a negotiated solution to that country's nuclear crisis.



Also Tuesday, Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli said his country is anxiously waiting for what he calls "just recognition" from the U.N. for detaining a North Korean ship carrying banned war material. He told the General Assembly that Panama was acting on its wish to comply with U.N. rules and laws.

Panama stopped the North Korean-flagged ship going through the canal in July, after it was suspected of carrying drugs. Inspectors say they found missiles and fighter jet parts hidden under a shipment of raw sugar.

The ship remains in Panamanian custody.

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