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Syria/chemical weapons – Statement by Laurent Fabius (September 9, 2013)

The proposal made by the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, warrants careful examination. He now recognizes – as a result of the significant pressure that we’ve exerted – that there’s a serious problem with the huge stockpile of chemical weapons held by Bashar al-Assad. This proposal would be acceptable subject to at least three conditions:

-  Mr Bashar al-Assad must immediately pledge to place his entire chemical weapons arsenal under international control and allow it to be destroyed;

-  this operation must be carried out on the basis of a binding Security Council resolution within a short timeframe and with strong consequences if he doesn’t uphold his commitments;

-  those responsible for the chemical massacre on 21 August must not go unpunished. The matter must therefore be referred to the International Criminal Court.

France has set two objectives from the outset: to punish and to deter. That’s why we’re now demanding specific, prompt and verifiable commitments from the Syrian regime.


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