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Syria says UN request for chemical weapons investigation contradicts its demand


10:17, April 09, 2013

DAMASCUS, April 8 (Xinhua ) -- Syrian Foreign Ministry said Monday that the UN request to conduct a full investigation about chemical weapons on all Syrian territories runs counter to the request of the Syrian government.

The Syrian government has recently asked the UN to send a technical team to the northern town of Khan al-Asal to investigate what the government said was a chemical attack by the rebels which killed more than 50 people and left scores of others at hospitals, stressing that the technical team should conduct its work only at the targeted site.

However, the opposition groups in exile called on the UN to conduct a full investigation not only to send a technical team.

Earlier in the day, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said UN inspectors were ready to deploy a mission to Syria within 24 hours to investigate reported chemical weapon attacks in the country.

"I can announce today that an advance team is now in Cyprus, the final staging point before the mission heads to Syria," Ban said during a press conference at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague.

"All we are waiting for is the go-ahead from the Syrian government for a thorough investigation," he said, adding that " this mission was requested by the Syrian government itself."

He told reporters that the UN is still involved in "technical and legal" negotiations with Syria about the deployment of the chemical investigation team.

The UN chief said the governments of Syria, France and the United Kingdom have presented allegations with supporting information to the UN about chemical weapon attacks in Syria. "All claims should be examined without delay, without conditions and without exceptions," he added.

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