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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs