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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Notes to correspondents

Note to Correspondents on Syria

New York, 21 March 2013

The Spokesperson has the following update on Syria:

Today the Secretary-General received a joint letter from France and the UK, in which they requested an investigation into several incidents of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The Secretary-General has provided a reply letter to both missions. He shared their deep concern about all allegations involving reported use of chemical weapons in Syria. The Secretary-General stated that while the investigation mission will look at the specific incident brought to his attention by the Syrian Government, we must take seriously other allegations that chemical weapons were used elsewhere in the country.

The Secretary-General has requested France and the UK to provide additional information pertaining to the alleged incidents.

Also today the Secretary-General replied to the letter he received on Wednesday from the Syrian Government to inform them he had decided to establish a United Nations investigation on the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria. He stated that the investigation mission will look at the specific incident brought to his attention by the Syrian Government. At the same time, we must also remain mindful of other allegations that chemical weapons were used elsewhere in the country.

He requested the Syrian Government to provide additional information pertaining to the alleged incident. He also said the mission would require full cooperation from all relevant Syrian authorities and that he counted on the Syrian Government's full support, particularly through unfettered access.

He informed the Syrian Government that he had received a separate request from the French and UK Governments to investigate three incidents using the same mechanism provided by General Assembly and Security Council resolutions that is being applied to the Syrian Government request.


Notes to correspondents on 21 March 2013