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Syria: Chemical Weapons

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 172062, tabled on 10 September 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Prime Minister's statement of 16 April 2018 on Syria, Official Report columns 39-44, what the evidential basis is for the assertion that Russia and Syria delayed the access of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to Douma.

Answered on

17 September 2018

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) notified Syria on 10 April of its intention to deploy its Fact-Finding Mission to Douma. The team arrived in Damascus on 14 April, following an invitation from Syria which was supported by Russia, but their deployment to Douma was delayed for a week until 21 April. The Director General of the OPCW reported that they had been prevented from deploying to Douma by Russia and Syria, who cited security concerns. Russia instead offered to bring witnesses to Damascus, but the OPCW rightly insisted on access to Douma itself, which was later granted.