Govt Urges Restraint On Syria
The Federal Government yesterday urged the international community to be cautious in any response to alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria and work towards a negotiated settlement of the crisis.
In a statement in Abuja, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “Nigeria reiterates its call on all parties in the Syrian crisis to exercise maximum restraint and to seek negotiated political solution to the protracted crisis, including through the instrumentality of the UN. Nigeria further calls for unfettered humanitarian access for relief supplies to victims of the conflict.”
The statement, signed by the ministry’s spokesman Amedu Ogbole Ode, also said the Nigerian government has been following the Syria crisis, particularly the reported use of chemical weapons.
“The Federal Government condemns, in its strongest terms, the use of such weapons that are prohibited by subsisting international law and conventions. It notes that, while it is yet to be established which group may have used the prohibited weapons, it nonetheless, welcomes the action by the United Nations Secretary General in despatching the UN weapons inspectors to verify the use of such weapons,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the United States has said that the Syrian government carried out the chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on August 21.
In a statement yesterday, the US Embassy in Abuja said: “The United States Government assesses with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on August 21, 2013.
“We further assess that the regime used a nerve agent in the attack. These all-source assessments are based on human, signals, and geospatial intelligence, as well as a significant body of open source reporting.”
The statement added that a preliminary US government assessment determined that 1,429 people were killed in the attack, including at least, 426 children.