06:53 GMT04 July 2020
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    Syrian President Bashar Assad rejected the accusations of chemical weapons usage by the Syrian government, a member of delegation of French lawmakers that had talks with the president told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Syrian President Bashar Assad maintains that accusations of use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government are ridiculous, adding that such use runs contrary to interest of Damascus, a member of delegation of French lawmakers that had talks with the president told Sputnik.

    The UN mission to investigate the use of chemical substances for military purposes in Syria was formed on November 13. At the moment, experts have presented four reports on the results of the investigation of chemical attacks in Syria.

    "When asked about the use of chemical weapons, Assad replied that it was ridiculous to assume that he would be using gas against his people, as the Syrian government in the past had taken a decision to get rid of it with the UN help. He said that, politically, it is not of interest of the Syrian government to use it, because it could have radicalize more people against him," Nicolas Dhuicq said.

    Syria has been hit with rounds of Western sanctions for years on accusations that its government exercised violence against its own people. Last spring, the European Union extended until June 2017 curbs on Syria linked to investment, oil production and trade.

    On October 27, the OPCW-UN Joint Investigation Mission (JIM) expert panel claimed that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons at least three times in the country throughout 2014-2015. An earlier report said the Islamic State jihadist group, banned in many countries including Russia, was also responsible for several attacks.

    On November 29, French and UK Envoys to the United Nations said they were planning to introduce a draft resolution to sanction those responsible for the use of chemical weapons, building on the conclusions of JIM and the recent renewal of its mandate.

    Russian Envoy to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin commended JIM on its work but said, in the given circumstances, the mission was not able to "produce a credible evidence" that could serve as a base for possible sanctions.

    Churkin said Moscow would not support the draft resolution on chemical weapons sanctions that the United Kingdom and France plan to introduce at the UN Security Council because of the lack of evidence.

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