14 June 2013, 16:01

U.S., British, French experts fail to convince Russia that Syria govt used chemical weapons - ministry

Александр Лукашевич

U.S., British and French experts have failed to produce solid proof that the Syrian authorities used chemical weapons, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich told briefing on Friday.

"We had a series of consultations on these issues at the expert level with representatives of the United States, as well as the United Kingdom and France. One should say that the references that our partners gave us about alleged instances of using chemical weapons by Syrian troops were not substantiated by convincing facts," Lukashevich said.

Syria calls US chemical weapons claims 'lies', 'fabrications'

Syria on Friday slammed Washington's claims that it had used chemical weapons in its fight against rebels, accusing the United States of "lies" based on "fabricated information" to give it an excuse to intervene in the country's two-year-old civil war.

"The White House published a statement full of lies about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, based on fabricated information, through which it is trying to hold the Syrian government responsible for such use, despite a series of statements that confirmed that terrorist groups in Syria have chemical weapons," state news agency SANA quoted a foreign ministry official as saying.

"The United States, in resorting to a shameful use of pretexts in order allow President Obama's decision to arm the Syrian opposition, shows that it has flagrant double standards in the way it deals with terrorism."

Syrian Foreign Ministy also claimed that United States decision to arm rembels is a "flagrant double standard" in it's dealings with terrorism.

Britain not ready to arm Syrian opposition despite US decision to do so

Britain is still not ready to arm the Syrian opposition despite a decision by President Barack Obama to do so, but is not ruling out the introduction of a no-fly zone or any other measure, a spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron said on Friday.

"Nothing is off the table," the spokesman said when asked whether Britain would back a no-fly zone, adding that "no decision has been taken" on arming the opposition. "We are in urgent discussions with our international partners".

Hague agrees with US assessment that chemical weapons been used in Syria by Assad forces

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Friday he agreed with an assessment by the United States that chemical weapons including sarin had been used in Syria by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

"The United Kingdom has presented evidence of the use of chemical weapons in Syria to the UN investigation, and we have been working with our allies to get more and better information about the situation on the ground," Hague said in a statement.

"We condemn the deplorable failure of the Assad regime to cooperate with the investigative mission."

Voice of Russia, AFP, dpa, Reuters, Interfax

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