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UN has no mandate to establish those responsible for Syria chemical attacks-UN deputy spokesman

September 30, 2013, 22:05 UTC+3
“In order to extend it, it is necessary to have the decision of the Security Council or the General Assembly,” said Farhan Haq
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UNITED NATIONS, September 30 (Itar-Tass) - The United Nations cannot establish who is behind the chemical attacks in Syria until it receives a corresponding mandate from the UN member countries, UN chief’s deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told Itar-Tass on Monday.

“The mechanism by which we are currently working in Syria, had been was approved by the UN General Assembly back in 1987. Then we investigated similar incidents in Iran and Iraq, and later - in the early 1990s - it was used in Azerbaijan and Mozambique,” he said, adding that this mandate gives the United Nations the right only to “establish the facts.”

“In order to extend it, it is necessary to have the decision of the Security Council or the General Assembly,” said Farhan Haq.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General spokesman Martin Nesirky explained to journalists that the final report of the inspectors on the situation with the use of toxic agents in Syria would be ready by the end of October, but would not contain any conclusions about who was involved in the incidents.

Last Wednesday, the UN mission headed by Professor Ake Sellstrom (Sweden) returned to Syria to continue the investigation of the alleged use of chemical weapons in that country. During their previous trip to Syria, the experts had established that the nerve gas sarin had been used in Damascus’ suburb Ghouta on August 21. Based on the evidence obtained during the investigation of the Ghouta incident, the conclusion of the UN Mission is that, on August 21, 2013, chemical weapons have been used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in Syria on a relatively large scale. In particular, the environmental, chemical and medical samples collected by the Mission provide clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used in the Ghouta area of Damascus.

“It’s not for us - the United Nations or the group (of experts) - to put the blame or hold anyone responsible. This should be done by others,” Nesirky said. Asked by reporters who are these “others,” he replied: “It’s basically the member states of the (world) organisation.”

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