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260 words - July 10, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
"The Secretary-General welcomes the offer of the Government of Syria to continue discussions on the United Nations (UN) Mission to investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic," said a statement issued by UNSG Ban Ki-moon's spokesman on July 8.
Since fighting began in March 2011 between the Syrian Government of President Bashar al-Assad and opposition groups, more than 93,000 people have been killed and over 1.7 million people have fled Syria to neighboring countries, reminded Adama Dieng, the United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, who warned this week that escalating use of religious rhetoric could exacerbate Syrian conflict. "Such rhetoric, when it constitutes incitement to violence on religious grounds, could exacerbate the already disastrous violence in Syria, lead to further war crimes and crimes against humanity and fuel tensions between different groups both in Syria and elsewhere in the region," said Mr. Dieng.
In the meantime, Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, disclosed the results of the analysis of the samples taken by "Russian experts in person" at the impact point of a projectile launched by "anti-government forces" near Khan al-Assal in Aleppo governorate on March 19. The projectile "was not industrially manufactured and was filled with sarin," Ambassador Churkin affirmed, adding to Russian government's belief that, in contradiction with conclusions provided by western countries, "it was the armed opposition fighters who used chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal."
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