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France ready to counter chemical weapons use in Syria in collaboration with Russia

July 19, 15:36 UTC+3 PARIS

According to the French Foreign Ministry, Paris is committed to a constructive dialogue with Moscow on the issue

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PARIS, July 19. /TASS/. France is ready to maintain cooperation with Russia on countering the use of chemical weapons in Syria, the French Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

"The use of chemical weapons is the ‘red line’ for France. President [Emmanuel Macron] expressed this position clearly. Russia recognizes that such weapons were used in Syria, specifically, the sarin nerve agent during the attack in Khan Shaykhun on April 4, 2017. Our disagreements concern those who are responsible for these actions," the ministry noted.

According to the French Foreign Ministry, Paris is committed to a constructive dialogue with Moscow on the issue at the international level. "We are willing to work on these issues with Russia within the relevant international agencies, particularly, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Both Russia and France are interested in the same objective - to protect the non-proliferation of chemical weapons regime," the ministry added.

Khan Shaykhun incident and OPCW report

The incident involving the alleged use of chemical weapons in Khan Shaykhun in the Idlib province took place on April 4. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Syrian aircraft struck terrorists’ workshops that were producing chemical agents. Washington accused Damascus of using chemical weapons, after which the US Navy delivered a missile strike in the small hours of April 7 on a Syrian military airfield Shayrat in the province of Homs.

The OPCW report published on June 29 said that sarin or a similar nerve agent was sprayed in Syria’s Khan Shaykhun. Nearly 100 people, including many children, were killed as a result. The report will be handed over to the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism that will determine those responsible for the attack.

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