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5 June 2013 - Syria - Remarks to the press by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

Q : The UNSG Spokesperson put out a note referring to the French confirmation of chemical weapons use which says the UN are waiting to see if it is really confirmed.

The Commission of inquiry can only certify elements that the Commission itself has found from the place where it was used. The Commission is the only one able to give an official certification.

By definition, the elements transferred by France to Mr Sellström have been picked on the ground by somebody, we the French trust, but who is not somebody from the investigation team of Mr Sellstrom.

So the elements that we have given to Mr Sellstrom will not be used by the commission as an element of evidence. And we knew it. We simply wanted to give them some evidence that something is happening.

The problem is that Mr Sellstrom and his team are not granted access in Syria and will not be able to pick up the elements themselves. Again, a commission of investigation needs to control all the chain of information from the spot, where the samples come from, to the conclusions of their own analysis of the samples of course. And our evidence is not fitting this frame.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU