THE UNITED NATIONS, September 24. /TASS/. Syria’s government is ready to continue its cooperation with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations, investigating the use of toxic substances in recent attacks in the country, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Saturday, addressing the UN General Assembly.
Al-Moualem underlined that the country’s government had "efficiently and responsibly eliminated all chemical weapons in Syria," in cooperation with the Joint Mission of the OPCW and UN. "In this regard, Syria reiterates its readiness to continue its cooperation with the Joint Investigation Mechanism (JIM), as well as to continue the Syrian relevant investigation," he said.
In August the JIM released its third report determining that Damascus was responsible for two episodes when toxic substances were used as a weapon and that Islamic State (the terrorist group outlawed in Russia) was responsible for another one. In the next report, due to be finished in coming weeks, the experts will present their conclusions on three more incidents. The Syrian authorities rejected the experts’ assessments, claiming they were based on testimonies of the eyewitnesses provided by terrorist armed groups.
AL-Moualem said that Syria had always called for creation of a WMD-free (weapons of mass destruction) zone in the Middle East. In this regard, he appealed to the international community to compel Israel to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and other treaties on WMDs, and to subject its nuclear installations to the oversight of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Along with this, the Syrian foreign minister demanded from the United Nations to put an end to Israel’s occupation of the Syrian Golan lasting since 1967.