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UN chief investigator to visit Damascus next week on chemical weapons probe

English.news.cn   2013-07-18 05:37:18            

UNITED NATIONS, July 17 (Xinhua) -- The head of a UN investigation team and a UN disarmament official will head to Damascus next week to try to agree on methods for investigating allegations of chemical weapons use in the Syrian conflict, a UN spokesman told reporters here on Wednesday.

UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane and Ake Sellstrom, the Head of the UN Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, "will travel next week to visit Damascus, at the invitation of the government," said Martin Nesirky, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, at the daily briefing.

"The purpose of the visit will be to complete the consultations on the modalities of cooperation required for the proper, safe and efficient conduct of the Mission," Nesirky said.

"The secretary-general hopes that the visit will result in a mutual understanding on the access for the Mission to conduct its fact-finding activities and establish the facts pertaining to the reports received by the secretary-general concerning allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria," he added.

The focus of the UN fact-finding mission, set up in March following a formal request from the Syrian government, will be an incident involving the alleged use of chemical weapons at the Khan al-Asal town in Aleppo.

At least 25 people were killed and 130 others wounded on March 19 when armed men fired a rocket stuffed with chemical materials at Khan al-Asal.

The Syrian government accused opposition fighters of being behind it, but the rebels denied the accusations and turned the finger against the government.

So far Sellstrom's team has not been allowed into Syria due to diplomatic wrangling over the scope of access it will have.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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