Aug 23, 2013
Moscow, (SANA) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his U.S. counterpart John Kerry stressed the importance of conducting an objective investigation into reports on possible use of chemical weapons in Damascus Countryside in Syria two days ago.
A statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry said Lavrov made phone calls with Kerry, highlighting the need that the armed opposition’s groups ensure a safe entry for the UN investigators to the region where reports said the possible chemical attack took place.
The statement pointed out that Russia has called upon Syria to cooperate with the UN experts.
It added that Moscow expects the “Syrian opposition” to make constructive steps towards getting the international conference on Syria held so as to find a solution to the crisis as soon as possible.
Russia: Syrian ‘opposition’ hinders chemical weapons use investigation
The Syrian opposition hinders conducting an objective investigation into an allege use of chemical weapons in Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement on Friday that Moscow got no signal that the Syrian opposition is ready to ensure the safety of the international experts in Syria.
Lukashevich urged all influential sides to take the necessary measures to see to that the UN experts’ missions are carried out.
Moscow is in constant communication with the Syrian leadership and encourages constructive cooperation with the UN investigators, the Russian diplomat said, indicating that Moscow ”views with appreciation” Damascus’ approval to the visit of the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs which it sees ”very important.”
In the same context, Lukashevich described as ”unacceptable” the calls to pressure the UN Security Council into passing a resolution that authorizes the use of force against Syria.
”It is strange that these statements come from those who obstructed last March the Syrian government’s call for a prompt and impartial investigation into the Syrian opposition’s use of chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal residential area,” he added.
Syria has demanded that the UN conducts an objective probe into a chemical weapons use by the armed terrorist groups against civilians in Khan al-Assal area last March, but London and Paris had brought pressure to bear on the UN Secretary-General in a bid to obstruct the investigation.
The US: We are unable to conclusively determine chemical weapons use
Earlier, the US announced that it is unable to confirm reports that spoke of an alleged gas attack in Damascus Countryside last Wednesday.
“At this time we are unable to conclusively determine chemical weapon use,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday afternoon.
“We are focused on doing everything possible within our power to nail down the facts,” she added.
The General Command of the Army and the Armed Forces earlier stressed in a statement that there was no truth whatsoever to the false allegations made by the tendentious media channels on the Syrian army’s use of chemical weapons in areas in Damascus Countryside.
The Command affirmed that such allegations are part of the dirty media war led by some countries against Syria.
H. Said/M. Ismael