Monday May 20, 201301:58 PM GMT
‘UK, France barring UN Syria inspection’
Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar al-Jaafari says Britain and France are trying to undermine Damascus’s official request from the United Nation to investigate chemical weapons use in Aleppo.


Al-Jaafari said in an interview with the Lebanese NBN TV channel that the western governments seek to repeat the Iraqi scenario in Syria through questioning its sovereignty by opening its borders to undisciplined inspections by the UN under the pretext of chemical weapons use.

Al-Jaffari said the western sides do not want an investigation to take place suggesting they know full well that the anti-government militants used chemical agents in the town of Khan al-Asal, near Aleppo, and elsewhere.

The Syrian official said the comparison with Iraq is pretty clear as the UN also sent an inspection team to the country to examine weapons of mass destruction claims, but Iraq was occupied despite the fact that the inspection team did not find any WMDs.

He also rejected claims by Britain and France that chemical weapons were used in Homs four months before the Khan al-Asal incident saying they would have reported it earlier if any such attack ever existed.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has written to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon calling on the body to explain the details of a likely inspection in Khan al-Asal.

However, Britain and France have demanded the team to be also sent to other areas of the country to investigate the use of chemical weapons.

The request has been rejected by the Syrian government that says inspectors cannot have unlimited access to all regions of the country without coordination with Damascus.

The Syrian government has also called for an independent inspection of Khan al-Asal saying Damascus and the UN could discuss the details on other alleged chemical weapons uses separately, though the UN has so far refused to do so.

AMR/HE
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