Syria asks UN to probe reported use of chemical weapons in Aleppo

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Bashar Ja'afari

The ambassador of Syria to the United Nations on Wednesday told reporters that his government has requested the UN Secretary-General to deploy a mission to investigate the reported use of chemical weapons in his country.

Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari recalled that on December 8, 2012, his government sent an official letter to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council warning against the possibility of using such weapons.

He added that Syria is party to most international conventions related to the prohibition of using weapons of mass destruction.

According to Ambassador Ja'afari, when Syria was a member of the Security Council in 2003 it proposed a draft resolution on the establishment of a zone free from all weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.

"Now, in a sign of repetition of this commitment of my government, the Syrian government has asked the Secretary-General to deploy his assistants in order to form a specialized, independent and neutral technical mission to investigate this very serious and alarming and unacceptable and unethical attack by the terrorist groups in Syria using chemical weapons against Syrian civilians within the Syrian territory." (29")

The spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, Martin Nesirky, told reporters that he has briefed Ban Ki-moon on what the Syrian ambassador said.

"I think we will have something further to say once we have received and studied any formal request but the Secretary-General did speak by telephone yesterday with the Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and they shared deep concern about alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria."

Martin Nesirky said the Secretary-General remains convinced that the use of chemical weapons by any party under any circumstances would constitute an outrageous crime.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration; 2'03″

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