New Delhi: India on Friday expressed concern over reports of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria and stressed the need to ensure safe and secure custody of chemical weapons stockpiles to prevent access to terrorists and non-state actors.
"We have noted with concern reports regarding alleged use of chemical weapons near Aleppo in northern Syria. The UN, in cooperation with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), would be investigating these reports," official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said.
He said as an original signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, India attaches utmost importance to the complete destruction and elimination of chemical weapons worldwide.
"We stress that the international legal norm against the use of chemical weapons anywhere must not be breached. It is important to ensure the safe and secure custody of chemical weapons stockpiles and to prevent access to terrorists and non-state actors," the spokesperson added.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had already announced yesterday that the world body will investigate the possible use of chemical weapons in an attack in Syria.
The decision follows a request in this regard by the Syrian authorities, Ban had said.
"The investigation mission is to look into the specific incident brought to my attention by the Syrian Government... There are other allegations of similar cases involving the reported use of chemical weapons," he said.