Syria “Condemns” Use of Chemical Weapons, UN Calls for Cooperation

The government in Syria has "condemned" the use of chemical weapons, despite being accused of such attacks and refusing to cooperate with OPCW inspectors, North Press reports.

Syria “condemns” the use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere, and under any circumstance, according to the state-run news agency SANA. The Syrian delegation participated in last week’s conference to negotiate a treaty for a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East,” the Syrian permanent representative to the United Nations, Bassam Sabbagh, said in the UN Security Council session yesterday.

The High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu told the Security Council, “It is only through complete cooperation by the Syrian Arab Republic with the OPCW that all outstanding issues related to the Syrian Arab Republic’s initial declaration can be closed.”

Nakamitsu stressed the importance of identifying all those who used chemical weapons and they should be held accountable.

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“Both the Assad regime and its enablers, notably, Russia, who tried to shield Syria from scrutiny, should know that the United States will continue to use all available tools, including sanctions to promote accountability for chemical weapons use,” U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Richard Mills told the UN Security Council.

In 2013 the UN Security Council adopted a 2118 decision regarding the “elimination of chemical weapons in Syria.”

The adoption followed the targeting of al-Ghouta al-Sharqiya and  Muadamiyat al-Sham in al-Ghouta al-Gharbiya, south of Damascus, in August 2013, with carrying sarin and nerve gas, killing more than 1,450 people.

The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates posted on its official Facebook that Sabbagh affirmed that Syria will continue its cooperation with the OPCW and regrets attempts by some sides to distort the image of this cooperation.

Sabbagh affirmed that the information included in the initial declaration and the related recent ones are complete and accurate, adding that Syria is ready to work transparently with the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT) and to provide the related clarifications and at the same time it categorically rejects any questioning to it, according to SANA.

On November 30th, the OPCW Director-General Mr. Fernando Arias stressed that the Syrian government did not cooperate with the OPCW team by not declaring about the fully stockpile of chemical weapons and it “still cannot be considered accurate and complete,” and also continuing to deny a visa to an OPCW weapons inspector.

 

Remarks by the Syrian Observer: The U.S. imposed on Tuesday new sanctions on 5 Syrian regime officers for being involved in chemical attacks or in Damascus’ repressive security apparatus.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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