News / Middle East

Syria Denies Delaying Chemical Weapons Probe

Bashar Ja'afari, Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, speaks at a news conference at U.N. headquarters, Apr. 30, 2013.Bashar Ja'afari, Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, speaks at a news conference at U.N. headquarters, Apr. 30, 2013.
x
Bashar Ja'afari, Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, speaks at a news conference at U.N. headquarters, Apr. 30, 2013.
Bashar Ja'afari, Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, speaks at a news conference at U.N. headquarters, Apr. 30, 2013.
Margaret Besheer
Syria’s United Nations' ambassador blamed what he called "some influential countries" for the delay in sending a chemical weapons investigation team to his country. 
 
On March 20, the Syrian government asked U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to set up an independent and impartial investigation to probe its concerns that chemical weapons were used by armed groups in the town of Khan Asal in Aleppo province that week.
 
Ban acted quickly, announcing the next day that he would send a team to investigate. But more than a month later, the 15-person technical mission awaits permission from the Syrian government to enter the country. 
 
At issue is the scope of the investigation. Syria wants only Khan Asal investigated, but Britain and France have raised another possible incident of chemical weapons use in Homs. The U.N. chief has said the team should investigate all credible allegations and has urged the Syrian authorities to give the mission full and unfettered access to do their work.

Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari told reporters Tuesday that his government is cooperating with the U.N. and is still willing to receive the team, but wants to see the Khan Asal incident investigated before it is willing to begin considering the investigation of other allegations.
 
“We said let us now fulfill, achieve, in a credible manner, impartial, independent manner, the investigation in Khan Asal. Then if the Syrian government and the Secretary-General and the Security Council members, feel that these allegations are also credible, the Syrian government, might - might - examine the possibility of asking for a further investigation," he said. 
 
The Syrian envoy accused hostile governments of seizing on the chemical weapons issue to increase political pressure on President Bashar al-Assad.
 
He side-stepped the question of whether the Syrian authorities possess chemical weapons, repeating the government line that if they do, they would not use them on their own people.
 
Speaking to reporters Monday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon again called for full access to locations in Syria, saying it is necessary if the United Nations is to be able to establish the facts and clear up 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 the Syrian authorities to allow the investigation to proceed without delay and without any conditions," he said. 
 
Ban’s spokesman said Tuesday that the Syrian government’s efforts to expedite the deployment of the mission to investigate Khan Asal are welcome, but that cooperation should be extended to other sites.

You May Like

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dr. Hans F. from: Germany
April 30, 2013 6:45 PM
let me tell you something... I have been privileged to sit in an Israeli intelligence briefing level 2 (EU intel conf - they have 5 levels... the fifth is the top - actionable intelligence...) and it is incredible!!! they know EVERYTHING!!! they know when Assad is on the internet - which he uses quite a lot... what he watches... what he says and to whom... they listen to his phone calls... they advance people they control in his administration... people they can not co opt suddenly die of heart attacks... and all this is applicable to Egypt and Iran...
now, if Putin listen to them so attentively, I believe Obama should do the same... before he commits US forces to protect Jordan, he should know that US forces will come under attack from the Jordanians themselves... listen, Turkey is imploding under Islamic fascism, Lebanon has been hollowed from within by Hezbullah, Syria is a battle ground between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Egypt is reverting to Islamic Fascism... Obama, make your move wisely...

by: Dr. Hollenbrook from: UK
April 30, 2013 5:20 PM
did you hear that "The head of Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has declared that Syria has real friends who will not let it fall to the US/Israel and Islamic radicals..." someone must remind this idiot that HE IS ISLAMIC RADICAL!!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs