French Foreign Minister: There are ‘mounting suspicions’ of chemical weapons use in Syria

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, May 27, 2013 16:00 EDT
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Laurent Fabius, Minister for Foreign Affairs of France and President of the Security Council for the month of August 2012, speaks to the press on the situation in Syria. The Foreign Minister is chairing today a Security Council ministerial meeting on the humanitarian situation in Syria. [UN Photo/Mark Garten]
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French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Monday said there were “mounting suspicions” that chemical weapons were being used in Syria.

Speaking to journalists after talks with his EU counterparts, Fabius said that “very detailed verification” was necessary however.

There were indications of “localised use” of chemical arms, he said.

“We are consulting with our partners to examine what concrete consequences to draw,” added Fabius.

He was then heading for Paris where he will meet his Russian and US counterparts Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry for talks on convening a Syria peace conference next month.

French newspaper Le Monde reported Monday that the Syrian army was using chemical weapons against rebel forces in the outskirts of Damascus.

It quoted two of its journalists who were in the area in April and May as saying they had “witnessed over several consecutive days” the use of explosive chemical weapons and their effects on rebel fighters in the village of Jobar on the outskirts of the capital.

Reporter Jean-Philippe Remy and photographer Laurent Van der Stockt reported that on April 13 they saw fighters “suffocating and vomiting” in the area after an apparent attack using chemical weapons.

[Image via UN Photo/Mark Garten]

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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