Fri, 22 Jan 2021

New York [US], January 5 (ANI): India remains concerned about the possibility of chemical weapons falling into the hands of terrorist organizations and individuals, India's Permanent Representative to the UN TS Tirumurti said on Tuesday.

Speaking at UNSC meeting on Syria (Chemical weapons), he said terrorist groups have taken advantage of the decade-long conflict in Syria to entrench themselves posing a threat to the entire region and the world cannot afford to give these terrorists any sanctuary or dilute its fight against these terrorist groups.

He said that India has consistently called for a comprehensive and peaceful resolution of the Syrian conflict through a Syrian-led dialogue, taking into account the legitimate aspirations of the people of Syria.

Tirumurti said that India has been firmly opposed to any use of chemical weapons anywhere, at any time, by anybody, and under any circumstances.

"India attaches high importance to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which is a unique, non-discriminatory disarmament instrument and serves as a model for the elimination of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. India has been firmly opposed to any use of chemical weapons anywhere, at any time, by anybody, and under any circumstances," he said.

He also welcomed Ambassador Bassam al-Sabbagh, the new Permanent Representative of Syria to the meeting.

He said that India not only strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons but also holds the view that "there can be no justification for their use".

"India remains concerned about the possibility of such weapons falling into the hands of terrorist organizations and individuals. Terrorist groups have taken advantage of the decade-long conflict in Syria to entrench themselves posing a threat to the entire region. The world cannot afford to give these terrorists any sanctuary or dilute its fight against these terrorist groups," he said.

Reiterating India's support to both the Geneva and the Astana processes, he said that India has consistently called for a comprehensive and peaceful resolution of the Syrian conflict "through a Syrian-led dialogue, taking into account the legitimate aspirations of the people of Syria".

Tirumurti also appreciated the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in performing its responsibilities during these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

" We have also taken note that OPCW is in the process of analyzing the information collected from its most recent deployments for cases related to the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria. We note with satisfaction that three issues relating to Syria's initial declaration have been resolved during the last six months," he said.

"We encourage continued engagement and cooperation between Syria and the OPCW Technical Secretariat towards an early resolution of all outstanding issues. India has provided a financial contribution of USD 1 million to the OPCW Trust Fund for activities relating to the destruction of chemical stockpiles and related facilities in Syria," he added. (ANI)

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