Russia urges UN inspectors to return to Syria

Russia urges UN inspectors to return to Syria
Wed Sep 18, 2013 14:06:49

Russia has called for an “immediate return” of UN inspectors to Syria for additional investigations into alleged use of chemical weapons.

Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said on Tuesday that besides the incident in al-Ghouta, the UN mission, which was led by Swedish professor Ake Sellstrom, should investigate other instances of alleged use of chemical weapons “including the incident on March 19 near Aleppo as well as incidents of intoxication of Syrian government troops on August 22 and 24-25.”

“We hope that the full implementation of the mandate of Sellstrom’s mission will give an objective picture of the events in Syria,” Churkin said.

UN inspectors said Monday that they had found “clear and convincing evidence” that chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, were used in an August 21 attack that killed hundreds of people in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday the provided report did not answer many questions and urged an additional UN investigation into allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria.

The inspectors had no mandate to determine who had launched the Ghouta attack - which the US and some of its Western allies have claimed the Syrian claimed used the chemical weapons, but Moscow and Syria have called a provocation by the foreign-backed militants to pursue world powers to go to another war in the Middle East.

Russia and the United States put forward a proposal that would see Syria hand over its chemical weapons to international observers. Syria has also applied to join the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) - an international treaty that regulates the destruction of such weapons - next month.


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