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The use of chemical weapons breaks a taboo

The suspected widespread use of chemical weapons in Syria breaks a taboo and represents a grave contravention of the UN Chemical Weapons Convention, said government spokesman Steffen Seibert in Berlin. This is an abominable crime and those responsible must be held accountable.

The government spokesman reported that it seems highly probably that poison gas was used in an attack. "The reports and the images, particularly of the youngest victims, are horrifying." There must be consequences for an attack of this sort.

Risk that evidence will be lost

The fact that the UN inspectors can at last visit the site of the atrocity to conduct investigations is to be welcomed. The authorisation of the Assad regime came late, he said. "There is a risk that the delay and continued hostilities will mean that important evidence will have been destroyed," stated Steffen Seibert.

In the light of developments in Syria, Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by telephone on Sunday with the French President François Hollande and the British Prime Minister David Cameron. The aim was to present as united a response as possible.

UN inspectors currently in Syria

On Saturday the Chancellor welcomed Russia’s willingness to support the independent investigation of the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria. The United Nations inspectors must be granted swift access to the pertinent sites, she said.

At the same time Angela Merkel stressed the urgent need to find a political solution to the conflict in Syria.

Aug 26, 2013