Dialogue, cooperation right approach to Syrian chemical weapons issue: Chinese envoy

Source: Xinhua| 2021-10-05 11:49:28|Editor: huaxia

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- It is China's consistent position that dialogue and cooperation is the right approach to the Syrian chemical weapons issue, a Chinese envoy said on Monday.

The Syrian government and the Technical Secretariat under the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have different interpretations and multiple outstanding issues, Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, told the Security Council briefing on Syria.

The two sides should respect scientific facts, adhere to objectivity and impartiality, continue to discuss fully, move towards each other, and together strive for early settlement of outstanding issues, Geng suggested.

The Chinese envoy also noted that the successful renewal of the tripartite agreement between the Syrian government, the Technical Secretariat and the UN Office for Project Services has created good conditions for resolving outstanding issues.

On the OPCW Investigation and Identification Team (IIT), Geng said that the establishment of the IIT "goes beyond the scope of" the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and runs counter to the OPCW's tradition of consensus, over which many countries, including China, have expressed concern.

According to the OPCW announcement, the IIT was established under a decision of the international chemical weapon watchdog Conference of the States Parties dated June 27, 2018 and is responsible to identify and report on all information potentially relevant to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The working methods and procedures of the IIT, the Chinese envoy pointed out, have also failed to meet the requirements of the CWC and its annex on verification, thereby begging multiple questions.

"We hope that the Technical Secretariat will adhere to the technical nature, uphold the spirit of impartiality, objectivity and independence in performing its duty and facilitate a return of attribution to the framework of the convention," he said.

Geng said, "China stands firm in opposing the use of chemical weapons by any country, organization or individual under any circumstances or for any purpose, and hopes that our world will soon be freed of all chemical weapons."

"We urge the countries in possession of chemical weapons to destroy all chemical weapons as soon as possible," he added.

The IIT released two reports on the issue on April 8, 2020 and April 12 this year respectively, but both had been rejected by the Syrian government.

This year's OPCW report said that "the Syrian government forces used chemical weapons against its population in the city of Saraqib in 2018," but the Syrian Foreign Ministry in April denied such accusation, saying that the OPCW report has included a "false and fabricated conclusion which represents another scandal for the OPCW and the inquiry teams." Enditem

KEY WORDS: UN,Syria,China