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Use of sarin by Syrian rebels to dampen calls for Assad’s removal — Lavrov

July 09, 2014, 18:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says now those who are defending the task of changing the regime in Syria have lost some of their arguments

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MOSCOW, July 09. /ITAR-TASS/. The use of sarin by Syrian rebels will dampen the ardor of those who are calling for the forcible change of power in the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday, July 9, following reports about the use of chemical weapons by the armed opposition  in Syria.

“This fact needs no comment. These are the deeds of those who want to collect compromising evidence, speaking informally, in order to justify the use of force for resolving the Syrian crisis. Now those who are defending the task of changing the regime have lost some of their arguments, while those who are demanding an immediate end to the bloodshed and the beginning of a national dialogue have got more arguments,” Lavrov said.

He believes that “there must be no speculation now that the government of Syria bears sole responsibility for everything that is happening (in the country) and that it was the government that used chemical weapons even though common sense suggests that this could not have benefitted the government even if one assumes that it was contemplating such unlawful actions”.

The minister also recalled a provocation in Damascus’ suburb of Eastern Ghouta in August 2013. “We insisted that all the evidence such as canisters found at the place where the substance had been used be studied immediately. This was done and took almost a year. Experts of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons studied it most thoroughly and came to the conclusion that it was sarin and that it had been found on the territory controlled by rebels,” he said.

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