China supports probe of alleged chemical attack in Syria

China supports an investigation of the alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma, Syria, a Chinese envoy to the United Nations said on Monday.

The United Nations Security Council meets on threats to international peace and security and the situation in the Middle East on April 9, 2018, in New York.

China supports an investigation of the alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma, Syria, a Chinese envoy to the United Nations said on Monday.

"China supports a comprehensive, objective and impartial investigation of the incident concerned so that a conclusion that is based on substantiated evidence and that can stand the test of history and facts can be reached, so that the perpetrators and responsible parties can be brought to justice," Wu Haitao, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, told the Security Council.

The reports of the latest chemical attack in Syria and of the related civilian casualties are of grave concern to China, said Wu.

"China's position on chemical weapons has been consistent and clear: We are firmly opposed to the use of chemical weapons by any state, organization or individual under any circumstances. Any use of chemical weapons, whenever and wherever, must not be tolerated."

The question of chemical weapons in Syria is closely linked with the political settlement of the Syrian issue, he said. "China supports the Security Council and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in continuing to play an important role as a main channel for addressing the chemical weapons in Syria."

He expressed the hope that the parties concerned will take a constructive approach, engage in consultations to seek a solution, discover the truth, avoid the recurrence of chemical weapons use, maintain the unity of the Security Council and work to advance the political process in Syria.

The Syrian conflict has entered its eighth year, inflicting tremendous suffering on the Syrian people, he said, adding that political settlement is the only way out. The international community must remain committed to the political settlement and effectively respect the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, he said.

China is always opposed to the use of force or threat of the use of force in international affairs and always advocated the adherence to the UN Charter, said Wu.

All parties should increase their support to the United Nations as the main mediator, push parties in Syria to seek a political settlement under the principle of Syrian leadership and Syrian ownership and in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254, he said.

Counter-terrorism is an important and urgent issue in the political process. The international community needs to enhance coordination, uphold uniform standards and combat all terrorist organizations listed by the Security Council, said Wu.

On Saturday, activists said the Syrian forces used chlorine gas in an attack against Douma, the last rebel-held area in the Eastern Ghouta countryside of Damascus.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry responded to the rebels' claims of chemical weapons use by the Syrian army in Douma district near Damascus as "premeditated pretexts," according to state news agency SANA.

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