Russian foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the rejection of the Russian-Iranian proposal on investigation of the alleged chemical attack in khan Sheikhoun in Idleb and attempts to accuse the Damascus government of using chemical weapons appear to be an attempt to switch to the idea of toppling the Syrian government, stressing at the same time that Moscow will not allow that.
“I think that this is a very serious situation, because it is evident now that the false information about the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government is used to ditch the implementation of resolution 2254 that envisages political settlement, and to switch to the long-standing idea of a regime change. I’m sure that we must prevent it,” Lavrov said at a joint meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Astana on Friday .
“Yesterday, our joint proposal that experts of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) should visit the scene of the purported incident with the use of chemical weapons was blocked by Western delegations without any clear explanations,” “This showed “a complete fallacy of the stance of our Western colleagues” who in fact prohibit the OPCW to send their inspectors to the scene of the incident and the Shairat airfield in Homs province, which was allegedly the source of chemical attack, Lavrov said.
This comes amid explicit statements from London and Paris that their experts have obtained samples from the incident scene. Meanwhile, Russia’s questions to the UK, France and the OPCW about the origin of these samples remain unanswered, he noted. “I think this is very close to a situation when this organization will discredit itself. If someone wants to contribute to this, such attempts need to be stopped,” Lavrov stressed.
For his part, the Chinese Foreign Minister said China is ready to work with Russia in promoting political settlement efforts in hot spots including Syria and North Korea.
“We are ready, together with our Russian partners, to strengthen strategic cooperation, to make efforts to establish international stability, to regulate politically the situations in ‘hot spots’,” Wang said.
Wang also noted that Beijing had voted for Russian-Iranian proposal at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate the alleged chemical weapons use in khan sheikhoun.