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Moscow expects OPCW to send experts to Syria’s Khan Sheikhoun

Federica Mogherini says the OPCW should conduct a transparent and open investigation into the incident with the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria

MOSCOW, April 24. /TASS/. Moscow expects the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to send its experts to the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun and the Shayrat airfield to probe the alleged chemical incident, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

‘We’ll be expecting that the OPCW will send its specialists after all to Khan Sheikhoun and Shayrat strictly on the basis of its mandate which requires ensuring the widest possible geographical representation of experts," the Russian foreign minister said.

"In order to make it sure that everything is transparent and is not shrouded into some secret from the member countries that pay for this mechanism to work," Lavrov said.

EU calls for transparent investigation

The OPCW should conduct a transparent and open investigation into the incident with the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Syrian city of Khan Shaykhun, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, said.

"The war in Syria is causing an extreme number of civilian causalities, but when it gets to the use of chemical weapons, chemical components during the war, then we are on a different stage of atrocities and we are at a level of what amounts to a war crime, if that is proven to be the case," she noted. "This is why the European position on that is that a full transparent investigation has to be done by the OPCW and full accountability has to be guaranteed within the UN appropriate system."

Intra-Syrian talks 

Lavrov said on Monday he has informed Federica Mogherini about Moscow’s efforts towards Syrian settlement:

"We spoke about the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, first of all in Syria. Both we and the European Union cannot but be worried about what is going on in Libya, Iraq, Yemen. We told our partners about Russia’s efforts towards promoting settlement of the Syrian crisis by means of an inclusive nationwide dialogue with an active use of the Astana process."

"We expressed support to the United Nations-brokered intra-Syrian consultations in Geneva that are to rely exclusively on United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254," Lavrov stressed.