BRUSSELS, The European Union declared Monday that it stands united in its support for the total prohibition and elimination of chemical weapons worldwide.
The EU Foreign Affairs Council, meeting in Luxembourg today, in a statement voiced its strong belief that “use of chemical weapons, including the use of any toxic chemicals as weapons, by anyone, be it a State or a non-State actor, anywhere, and under any circumstances is abhorrent and must be rigorously condemned.
“The use of chemical weapons is unacceptable, constitutes a breach of international law and may amount to a war crime or a crime against humanity. There can be no impunity and those responsible for such acts must be held accountable. The most recent reports from Syria, which are truly shocking and must be urgently and independently investigated, only serve to reinforce our shared determination,” it said.
The Council reiterated its strong condemnation of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime and the so-called Islamic State (IS).
“The use of the nerve gas sarin by the Syrian Arab Republic in Khan Shaykhoun, Syria, on 4 April 2017, indicates that Syria has failed to fully dismantle its chemical weapons programme and is willing to continue using chemical weapons,” said the EU Council.
“The Council strongly supports the view that those individuals, entities, groups or governments responsible for such illegal and abhorrent acts must be identified and held to account,” it noted.
EU recalled the importance of full observance of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the vital role the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) plays in its implementation.
The Council welcomed the upcoming Fourth Special Session of the Conference of the States Parties to Review the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention to take place in The Hague on November 21-30, 2018, adding that it represents an opportunity to review the progress of the implementation of the CWC and to help defining future priorities for the OPCW in the upcoming years.
Source: Kuwait News Agency