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Statement by the Tánaiste on Syria

International relations, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, Press Releases, Middle East and North Africa, 2013

"I repeat my condemnation of the recent gas attacks in Syria. The horrific consequences of the illegal use of these armaments against a civilian population are appalling and an affront to the values of the United Nations. The use of these weapons has rightly been outlawed for almost a century. The deliberate use of chemical weapons against a civilian population is a very serious war crime.

It is essential that the UN inspection team have unrestricted and safe access to the sites of these attacks to reach its findings. Ireland and the wider international community await the report of the inspection team as a matter of urgency.

There are growing international concerns that the attacks were probably carried out by the Syrian Government. The evidence the inspectors find on the ground may also be critical in clarifying who was responsible.

The UN Security Council is the appropriate forum for determining the response of the international community. I call on all members of the Security Council to fulfil their responsibilities under the UN Charter to reach agreement on the necessary measures to uphold international law and protect the fundamental rights of the Syrian population.  I also reiterate my call for the Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court to ensure that those who commit or order war crimes and crimes against humanity are held accountable.

I reiterate that only a political solution can bring peace to Syria."