Malta condemns latest reported chemical weapons attack in Syria

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: Apr 05, 2017
 

On 4 April 2017 the world once again woke up to deeply-disturbing images coming out of Syria which shocked humanity’s conscience. The scenes in Khan Sheikhoun bore witness to what was reportedly another chemical weapons attack in Syria, resulting in dozens of people being killed, including a number of children. This heinous attack comes as donor countries gather in Brussels to discuss humanitarian aid efforts for Syria, where six million people are internally displaced, another five million have fled the country, and at least 250,000 people have been killed in a devastating six-year war.

Malta expresses its grave concern about this latest reported use of chemical weapons in Syria. It reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of any and all such attacks, whoever the perpetrators are. The use of chemical weapons violates the fundamental purpose of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the international community has repeatedly stressed that the use of chemical weapons by anyone under any circumstances is reprehensible, and completely contrary to international legal norms and standards.

The use of chemical weapons is also a violation of international humanitarian law, and Malta is of the firm view that those responsible must be held accountable for their actions according to international law. Malta supports efforts by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to establish the facts regarding yesterday’s attack, and will also support all efforts aimed at ensuring accountability thereafter. The international community must ensure that those responsible for such an abhorrent act are held accountable.

Malta also calls on all parties involved in the conflict in Syria to refrain from using violence, and to seek a political solution which ensures that the past does not determine the future.