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Statement by Ambassador WU Haitao at the Security Council Briefing on Syria

2017/11/07

I would like to thank High Representative Nakamitsu and Mr. Mulet for their briefings.

China’s position on the issue of chemical weapons has been clear and consistent. We strongly oppose the use of chemical weapons by any country, group or individual for any purpose or in any circumstances. China is deeply concerned about and strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons in Syria. China supports the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism in its investigation of relevant incidents in a comprehensive, objective and impartial way. The investigation should be based on solid evidence and should reach conclusions that can stand the test of time and are based on verifiable facts.

China takes note of the report that was recently submitted by the Mechanism (S/2017/904, annex). We also note that, as too much time had passed after the incident and owing to security reasons, the Mechanism decided not to carry out on-site field investigations in Khan Shaykhun and Umm Hawsh. Some Council members have expressed the hope that the Mechanism will improve its methodology, strengthen field investigations and refine its mandate. There is consensus among Council members in condemning chemical weapon attacks in Syria and on the need to investigate relevant incidents. Council members should continue to negotiate on the Mechanism’s methodology, mandate and extension patiently and strive for a united message. This will help us to find the truth behind the attacks, bring the responsible parties to justice and deter future chemical weapon attacks in Syria.

A political solution is the only way out of the Syrian issue. Thanks to the joint efforts of all parties of the international community, there is positive momentum towards a political settlement of the Syrian issue. The latest round of the Astana dialogue has just concluded and a new round of the Intra-Syrian talks will begin in late November. The political settlement of the Syrian issue has entered a new and critical stage. China calls on members of the Security Council to focus on the big picture of maintaining the Syrian political process and to stay united on the Syrian chemical weapons issue in order to create conditions allowing all parties in Syria to reach speedy solutions acceptable to all through the Intra-Syrian talks and, at the same time, play a constructive role for the comprehensive, impartial and appropriate resolution of the Syrian issue as soon as possible.

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