03:56 GMT +319 December 2018
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    German Justice Minister Heiko Maas

    Germany to Use All Means to Resolve Issue of Syria's Chemical Weapons

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    BERLIN (Sputnik) - Germany will use all means, all diplomatic ways to resolve the issue of controlled destruction of the chemical weapons allegedly remaining in Syria, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Saturday.

    "The events in Duma showed how necessary for the United Nations and the OPCW [the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] to conduct the controlled destruction of the chemical weapons remaining in Syria. The federal government will use all means, all available diplomatic ways to move this process forward," Maas told reporters in Berlin.

    The Western states have accused forces of President Bashar Assad of an attack with the use of chemicals in the Syrian town of Duma. The Syrian leadership, in its turn, denied any involvement in the attack, and invited the experts from the OPCW to investigate into the reports.

    Earlier on Saturday, the OPCW press service said that the organization's mission had arrived in Damascus. A Syrian government source told Russian reporters that OPCW experts were planning to start their activities in the Syrian area of Eastern Ghouta, where a chemical attack allegedly took place, on Sunday.

    Last night, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States launched strikes on a number of targets in Syria in response to the alleged chemical attack in Duma. They released over 100 missiles in Syria, most of which were shot down by Syrian air defense. Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on Saturday that the strikes had been carried out in violation of norms and principles of the international law.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry said reports about alleged gas attack in Duma were spread to justify foreign interference. The General Staff of Russia's Armed Forces said it warned about a planned provocation in Eastern Ghouta as early as on March 13.

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    chemical weapons, UN’s Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Heiko Maas, Syria, Germany
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