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UN inspectors take Syria samples for tests

Last Updated: Sunday, September 1, 2013 - 16:05

United Nations: UN inspectors have conducted "a wide range of fact-finding activities" at the site of an alleged chemical attack outside the Syrian capital city of Damascus, a UN official said.

The UN inspectors have taken the samples to The Hague and these will be moved to two laboratories in Europe, Xinhua cited UN spokesman Martin Nesirky as saying Saturday.

UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane was sent to Syria to negotiate a UN probe into the alleged Aug 21 chemical attack and she met UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon thereafter.

Nesirky, however, added that there could be no report on whether banned poison gas had been used until laboratory tests are completed.

The spokesman vowed that the UN inspectors will conduct "impartial and credible" assessments on whether chemical weapons were used in the Syrian conflict, which has been going on for 29 months.

Kane assured Ban that "whatever can be done to speed up the process (of analysing evidence gathered in Syria) is being done" now that the UN chemical weapons team has returned to the Netherlands, he said.

When the UN experts complete their samples study, the UN chief would share the information with UN member states and the Security Council, he said.

However, he refused to give a timeline about the process of samples assessment.
Ban, who cut short his European tour to be briefed on the UN investigations, also talked Saturday over the phone with Ake Sellstrom, the Swedish head of the UN group of about 10 inspectors, shortly after they arrived in the Netherlands, said the spokesman.


First Published: Sunday, September 1, 2013 - 16:05

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