Lavrov: Missile Attacks on Syria Aiming to Hinder OPCW Probe Into "Chem Attack"
The Russian and Chinese foreign ministers have held a joint press conference after talks in Beijing, which were dedicated to the situation on the Korean peninsula in the wake of North Korea’s decision to halt nuclear and missile tests, as well as the situation in Syria.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has lashed out at the missile strikes carried out by the US, France and the UK on Syria, saying that they were aimed at hindering the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) investigation into the alleged use of poisonous substances in Douma, Eastern Ghouta.
“Both sides gave an extremely negative assessment of the missile attack of the United States and its allies on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic. This is a gross violation of international law,” Lavrov said at a press conference following a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.
“Even those countries that have been compelled to say words of support… which the United States, Great Britain and France have undertaken, were forced to it. Most of them perfectly understand that this is an unacceptable way to solve the most serious international crises,” Lavrov added.
China fully supports Russia’s efforts to return the Syrian settlement process within the framework of UN Security Council resolution 2254, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Monday.
“Syria settlement must return to the framework of resolution 2254. Russia is making a lot of effort on it, which we fully support,” Wang told reporters after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“We are against any use of chemical weapons, and think that an objective impartial investigation of what happened [in Duma] is needed,” the minister added.
The OPCW inspectors should do their work in the Syrian city of Douma without external pressure; Russia will insist that they visit every location concerning the alleged chemical attack in Syria, Sergei Lavrov said.
Earlier, reports have emerged about an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, published by Syrian opposition online news portals on April 7, claiming that a chemical attack took place in Syria in the city of Douma near Damascus.
Syrian government has rejected all the allegations, noting that all chemical stockpiles were destroyed, which was confirmed by the OPCW.