New York, SANA – Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari, stressed that Syria will remain committed to close cooperation with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) with regard to solving all the pending technical issues connected to the so-called “the chemical weapon program” in Syria.
The program has become a technical one and the latest developments have clearly become technical, but not political ones, specially following Syria’s joining the OPCW, Dr. al-Jaafari pointed out in a press conference on Wednesday following the UN Security Council ‘s closed-door consultations session on the Special Coordinator for the OPCW-UN Joint Mission Sigrid Kaag briefing via video.
He renewed that Kaag, in her briefing to the OPCW in The Hague and the UN Security Council, has pointed out that the 12 facilities and the tunnels in Syria are all empty and that the issues related to them are technical issues .
Al-Jaafari referred to Syrian government’s letter dated January 8th, 2012 in which it informed the UN Secretariat that the armed terrorist organizations used chemical weapon against Syrians, particularly after they seized a chlorine gas factory to the east of Aleppo.
The Syrian Representative reiterated that terrorist organizations stole about 200 tons of these materials from that factory, asserting that Syria warned against the possibility of using chlorine gas by the terrorists, which unfortunately happened many times.
Al-Jaafari stressed that the Syrian government strongly condemns as “a heinous crime” the use of chemical weapons, calling for holding the perpetrators of this crime accountable. Regarding the report presented by the fact-finding team and the allegations on the use of the chlorine gas in Syria, al-Jaafari stressed that the report is not a ‘consensus nor final’ as it is still under debate by the Executive Council of the OPCW in The Hague.
He criticized some UN Security Council’s members who attempted to put pressures on Syria through keeping this file open.
” We cooperate with Mrs. Kaag and we will continue cooperation with the fact-finding team” al-Jaafari confirmed, dismissing the presence of any chemical weapon program in Syria yet.
He said that dealing with pending technical issues ,mainly the destruction of the 12 production facilities and the initial announcement connected to the chemical weapon program in Syria, are related to the Syrian government with close cooperation with the OPCW.
He added that regarding the destruction of these facilities, we have a plan in this regard which is scheduled to start this month, specifically this week.
Al-Jaafari, pointed out that the UNSC member states which have repeatedly accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons, did not call to investigate the use of chemical materials by the terrorist organizations which themselves contradicted the Council resolution No. 1540 for 2004, He clarified that the last use of chemicals by the ISIS terrorist organization was in Ayn al-Arab town, where the chemical attacks claimed civilians’ lives, saying that we have sent a message in this regard to the committee of resolution No. 1540 .
Answering questions, al-Jaafari said the Council listened to a briefing via video from Mrs. Kaag as an advisor since she is no longer Special Coordinator for the OPCW-UN Joint Mission.
” The change in its capacity indicates that the political issue has ended in the file of the so- called chemical weapons in Syria and what remains is purely technical issues addressed in The Hague,” the Permanent representative added.
On what is happening in the area of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syrian Golan, al-Jaafari said we have not heard anything from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) for two years respectively.
“Al-Nusra Front is still carrying out operations in the area of UNDOF backed by the Israeli occupation as its members are receiving medical care in the Israeli hospitals, he said, clarifying that Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Herve Ladsous, the Secretary General and his aides did not touch upon the matter .
He made it clear that their main interest is Syria and the situation in it, paying no heed to what is going on in the occupied Palestinian territories and the Israeli criminal practices in al-Aqsa Mosque.
On the process of the destruction of chemical weapons, he reminded that it is a purely technical matter which is being implemented in cooperation between the experts of the Syrian government and the OPCW.
Regarding the US-led alliance’s airstrikes al- Jaafari said: ” We have sent the information about the civilians who were killed due to these attacks to the Secretariat-General and the Security Council which finally acknowledged the fall of civilians as a result of these worrisome and biased attacks,”
He concluded by saying ..we demanded the General- Secretariat to issue an announcement due to the fall of a number of civilians as a result of the airstrikes of the so-called international coalition.
H. Zain / Ghossoun