NATO Secretary-General Warns Syria Against Use of Chemical Weapons


NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, speaking ahead of today’s NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels, has echoed US President Barack Obama’s warning to Syria:

“The possible use of chemical weapons would be completely unacceptable for the whole international community. If anybody resorts to these terrible weapons, then I would expect an immediate reaction from the international community.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that any breaches of international agreements relating to the use and transportation of chemical weapons would be “absolutely unacceptable”. As Syria is not a party to either the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction or the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction, one might be forgiven for thinking that Mr Lavrov’s statement lacks substance. The International Committee of the Red Cross notes, however, that customary international law prohibits the use of biological and chemical weapons in an internal armed conflict.

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