Assad must now give UN full access: Britain



LONDON- Syria must grant unrestricted access to a UN investigation team following France's announcement that it has proof that President Bashar al-Assad's regime is using sarin gas in the country's civil war, Britain insisted Tuesday.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said France's revelation that the regime was using the deadly nerve agent showed "the scale of the atrocities...is becoming ever clearer".



"This announcement adds further weight to the need for a full and unimpeded investigation into all relevant incidents," he explained. "The UN investigation team must be allowed unrestricted access to investigate on the ground in Syria and we call on the Assad regime to fully cooperate with it," added the minister.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that laboratory tests had revealed the use of the gas "several times in a localised manner".
The UN Commission of Inquiry said earlier Tuesday it had "reasonable grounds" to believe both sides in Syria had used chemical weapons.
Hague expressed "deep concern" at the report's findings, adding they "highlight the ever-increasing levels of brutality.
"The accounts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and the use of chemical weapons, rape, murder and executions are utterly appalling and underline the urgent need for a political solution to end the conflict," said Hague.
He condemned evidence of human rights violations by all sides, but stressed that the report attributed prime responsibility for the death toll to Assad's regime.
"We therefore call again on Assad's forces that are continuing to lay siege to Qusayr, and preventing access to humanitarian agencies to help the thousands of civilians trapped there, to allow immediate humanitarian access to Qusayr," he added.
The European Union agreed last week to lift its embargo against arming Syrian rebels, after tough talks that exposed sharp differences between Britain and France, champions of the move, and their more reluctant partners.
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Wednesday, June 5th 2013
AFP
           


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