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Lavrov concerned about attempts to ‘retouch’ UN experts’ report on Syria

September 14, 2013, 18:43 UTC+3

Earlier, Ban Ki-moon said he had “total confidence in their [experts’] expertise, professionalism and integrity”

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Photo EPA

Photo EPA

GENEVA, September 14 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said there were reasons to believe that attempts were being made to retouch the U.N. chemical weapons experts one-sidedly.

“We are concerned because there are reasons to suspect that attempts are being made now to retouch the report to be presented on Monday in favour of one of the sides, compared to what the inspectors have written,” Lavrov said after talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva on Saturday, September 14.

“We are glad that the U.N. Secretary-General has decided that Mr. Ake Sellstrom [the head of the U.N. team of experts investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria] will personally attend the U.N. Security Council meeting and take all questions himself,” the minister said.

Earlier, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he had “total confidence in their [experts’] expertise, professionalism and integrity”.

“All those in Syria have a stake in finding out the truth. The whole world should be concerned about any threat or use of chemical weapons. And that is why the world is watching Syria,” he said.

Ban believes that their success is in everyone’s interest. “All parties in Syria and all concerned States. It will address the recent allegations in the Damascus area and its success can have a deterrent effect on possible further use of chemical weapons in Syria and elsewhere,” he said.

The Secretary-General reiterated the U.N. determination “to answer the call of our Member States, fulfill our mandate and resolve deeply disturbing unanswered questions.”

“If proven, any use of chemical weapons by anyone under any circumstances is a serious violation of international law and an outrageous crime. We cannot allow impunity in what appears to be a grave crime against humanity,” Ban said.

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