It is "crucial" to start probe into allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria, says UN Secretary-General

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (at lectern) speaks to reporters before his meeting with Åke Sellström (left), head of the UN technical mission to investigate the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has made a fresh appeal to the Syrian authorities to allow investigations into alleged use of chemical weapons in the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Mr. Ban made the call on Monday just before meeting Dr. Åke Sellström whom he appointed last month to lead the fact-finding mission into the allegations.

Secretary-General Ban said he takes seriously the recent intelligence report of the United States about the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

"On-site activities are essential if the United Nations is to be able to establish the facts and clear all the doubts surrounding this issue. A credible and comprehensive inquiry requires full access to the sites where chemical weapons are alleged to have been used. I again urge Syrian authorities to allow the investigation to proceed without delay and without any conditions."

The Secretary-General said that Dr. Sellström and his fellow experts are ready to deploy to Syria within 24 to 48 hours.

He added that an advance team is positioned in Cyprus and even as they await Syrian consent to enter the country, Dr. Sellström and his colleagues have been doing what they can to gather and analyze available information.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’16″

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