UN chief urges Syrian authorities to allow probe into alleged use of chemical weapons

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appealed to the Syrian authorities to allow the investigation into alleged use of chemical weapons in the ongoing conflict in the country to proceed.

Mr. Ban told reporters in Rome on Tuesday that he has read a report that the Syrian government does not agree to his proposed investigation but he has not received any official communication on the matter.

He recalled that in March he received allegations of the use of chemical weapons from the governments of Syria, the United Kingdom and France.

Secretary-General Ban stressed that his mandate obliges him to examine any request from a Member State to conduct such an investigation.

"As I announced previously, the initial focus of the investigation in Syria will be the alleged incident at Khan al-Asal in Aleppo. Based on the information available to me, I have concluded that the mission should also investigate the allegations on the use of chemical weapons in Homs on December 23, 2012. I appeal to the Government of Syria to extend its fullest cooperation, and to allow the investigation to proceed." (Duration: 31")

The Secretary-General said he regrets that the Government of Syria has not yet agreed to the modalities he has proposed for the mission.

The mission, he added, is ready to deploy and is waiting in Cyprus.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'26"

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