Chemical attack in Syria – Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (4 April 2017)

Another particularly severe chemical attack targeted the province of Idlib this morning. Initial reports indicate that there is a significant number of casualties, including children.

I strongly condemn this appalling act.

The use of chemical weapons constitutes an unacceptable violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and further evidence of the barbarity suffered by the Syrian people for many years.

France has, since the start of the conflict, done its utmost to ensure that the international community sheds full light on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, identifies the perpetrators and draws the necessary conclusions in order to put an end to it. It has consistently lent its support to the investigation and attribution mechanisms of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations. Just recently, it took the initiative of tabling a resolution on sanctioning the perpetrators of these attacks, which was vetoed.

In the face of such serious crimes which undermine international security, I call on everyone to shoulder their responsibilities.

With this in mind, I have requested that an emergency UN Security Council meeting be convened.

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