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Diplomat comments on West’s call for meeting of parties to Chemical Weapons Convention

May 23, 2018, 13:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, May 23. /TASS/. The initiative to convene a special meeting of parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, put forward by the US and its close allies, to be a reckless and malign step against Damascus and Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Wednesday.

"We are well aware that the United States and Great Britain, as well as France, Germany, Canada and Australia, have embarked on another anti-Russian operation that may damage the integrity of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the credibility of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)," she said.

"These so-called friends of Syria have launched a campaign to convene a special meeting of parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which is the OPCW’s supreme governing body," Zakharova noted.

According to the Russian diplomat, "concerns that may at first glance seem noble, which refer to chemical disarmament and the non-proliferation of chemical weapons" are being used as a reason for convening the meeting, though in Moscow’s view, this step will damage the Convention and the OPCW ahead of a regular conference of states parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, set to be held in November.

"In fact, the background is still the same," Zakharova noted. "In this particular case, it is an attack on the Assad government that Washington and its associates do not like, as well as on Russia, which has allegedly been covering Assad’s chemical crimes and, according to NATO and the European Union, is also responsible for the use of the so-called ‘Novichok’ in the Skripal case staged by London," the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.

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