William Hague addresses the media in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on September 16, 2013 in London
British Foreign Secretary William Hague addresses the media in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on September 16, 2013 in London. © Oli Scarff - Pool/AFP
William Hague addresses the media in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on September 16, 2013 in London
AFP
Last updated: September 17, 2013

UN report "abundantly clear" that Syria carried out gas attack, says Britain

Britain welcomed Monday's United Nations report into last month's chemical weapons attack in Syria and said it was "abundantly clear" from the findings that Bashar al-Assad's regime was to blame.

"We welcome this objective and unequivocal report which confirms that chemical weapons were used on a large scale in the 21 August attack in Ghouta," Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement.

"From the wealth of technical detail in the report... it is abundantly clear that the Syrian regime is the only party that could have been responsible."

He urged all concerned parties to ensure that Syria's chemical weapons were secured and destroyed "in a verifiable manner without further delay."

The UN investigation team said in its report that it had "clear and convincing" evidence that sarin gas was used in the attack and that chemical weapons have been used on a "relatively large-scale" in the 30-month-old Syrian conflict.

The Security Council meeting came two days after Russia and the United States agreed a plan to destroy Syria's chemical arms within a year.

Hague said it was vital that the UN Security Council agreed on a resolution "that creates a binding commitment for the regime to give up its chemical weapons within a specific time frame and to credibly, reliably and promptly place them under international control for destruction.

"It is equally important that we ensure accountability for those responsible for using chemical weapons in Syria, as well as for those responsible for the many horrific war crimes and abuses being carried out there, particularly by the regime," he added.

The foreign minster vowed Britain would work with its partners, including Russia, to try and convene a second Geneva conference in order that a political solution be reached.

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