Vienna, 17 September 2013 Press release

Spindelegger: "The international community must react to serious war crimes in Syria"

Vice-Chancellor on the UN report about the use of chemical weapons in Syria

Vienna, 17 September 2013 – "An inhuman and grave war crime was committed in Syria on 21 August. There is no longer any doubt about this now following yesterday's publication of the UN inspectors' report", Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said today, referring to the latest developments concerning the use of chemical weapons in Syria. "United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon put it very bluntly: Against this background, the international community must live up to its ethical responsibility and do everything in its power to prevent any future use of chemical weapons."

"We must not simply accept this war crime. The perpetrators must be held accountable for the use of chemical weapons. I think that it is inevitable to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court. War crimes and crimes against humanity must not go unpunished", the Vice-Chancellor stressed and continued by saying that it would now be decisive for Damascus to cooperate fully along the lines of the framework agreement reached recently between the USA and Russia: "Syria is called upon to let credible deeds follow its announcement to join the Chemical Weapons Convention. The UN Security Council will also need to exercise its responsibility and support the Geneva Accord by adopting a powerful resolution. We, the international community, must speak with one voice making it clear that we are determined to ban the risk of any additional deployment of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war or elsewhere", Spindelegger concluded.  

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