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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

China Speaks Up Against Unilateral Action on Syria

RIA Novosti

14:42 02/09/2013 BEIJING, September 2 (RIA Novosti) – China has urged Washington not to take unilateral action on Syria over the alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians, the country’s Xinhua news agency reported a senior Chinese official as saying on Monday.

"China is firmly opposed to the use of chemical weapons by any party in Syria and expresses serious concern about certain countries’ preparation for unilateral military action," a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said during a daily news briefing.

The spokesman also said that China has been briefed by the United States about evidence relating to the use of chemical weapons in Syria. He said that Beijing opposed the use of chemical weapons by any party to the conflict and supported “an independent, objective and professional investigation” by UN experts.

"Any action by the international community should respect the rules of the UN Charter and basic rules of international relations," the Foreign Ministry spokesman said, warning against pre-judging the results of an investigation by UN chemical weapons experts in Syria.

The analysis of samples taken by UN inspectors in Syria could take “up to three weeks,” the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said Sunday.

US President Barack Obama said Saturday that his country was considering a "limited" attack on Syria. A day before, the United States released a report saying that Syria’s government was responsible for a chemical attack that purportedly killed hundreds of civilians in a Damascus suburb late last month.

The Syrian regime has consistently denied these claims.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday that the information provided by the US lacked any concrete details, such as names or geographical coordinates that would prove its case.

Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed the US Saturday, saying that Washington’s allegations about the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against civilians were "unimaginable nonsense.”

Iran said Sunday it opposed any military intervention by Western nations in the Syrian civil war.

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