PARIS: The US is set to become isolated in its stance on the Paris climate agreement, after reports that Syria is preparing to join the deal.
The Paris deal unites the world’s nations in tackling climate change.
Syria and Nicaragua were the only nations outside the deal when it was agreed in 2015. Nicaragua signed in October.
In June the US said it would withdraw, but the rules of the agreement state that this cannot be done until 2020.
Meanwhile, French officials said US President Donald Trump had not been invited to December’s climate summit in Paris.
More than 100 countries have been invited to the summit, which is aimed at “building coalitions” with finance and business to further the accord, an aide to French President Emmanuel Macron said.
Syrian officials at the current climate talks in Bonn, Germany, were quoted as telling delegates of the 196 participating nations that the country was about to send the UN its ratification documents.
The accord would be signed “as soon as possible”, AP quoted one Syrian delegate as saying.
Correspondents say Syria was effectively an international pariah when the accord was first signed, and sanctions would have made it difficult for officials to attend the discussions in Paris.
Also, the meetings coincided with some of the fiercest fighting in Syria’s civil war, meaning the country was in no position to sign.