China appreciates UN report on Syria

Updated: 2013-09-17 18:22


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BEIJING - Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Tuesday that China appreciates the UN report on the use of chemical weapons in Syria and will seriously study the report.

"China attaches great importance to the UN report," Hong said at a regular press conference.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday received the report from the UN fact-finding group on the use of chemical weapons in Syria and briefed the UN Security Council on the findings Monday morning.

Chemical weapons were used at Ghouta, Syria, on August 21 on a relatively large scale resulting in numerous casualties, particularly among civilians including many children, according to the report.

The group was charged solely with the task of finding whether chemical weapons were used at Ghouta during Syria's civil war, which has lasted more than two years, but not who used them.

Hong said China's stance on the use of chemical weapons is consistent and clear.

"China opposes any use of chemical weapons and strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons in Syria," he said, noting that China supports the UN fact-finding group to continue its work in Syria.

He said China welcomes the framework agreement reached by the United States and Russia on Saturday to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons.

The deal asked Syria to allow international inspectors on the ground by November, and demanded that all its chemical weapons be destroyed or removed by mid-2014.

Hong said China supports the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria within the UN framework and hopes that the political settlement process will be pushed forward at the same time.