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Published on August 22, 2013
Statement by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Paris, August 21, 2013

I had a conversation this evening with the President of the Syrian National Coalition, Mr Ahmad Al-Jarba. He conveyed to me the horror of the massacre perpetrated by the Syrian regime today around Damascus, of which – according to the information given by Mr Al-Jarba – more than 1,200 victims have been identified. The evidence gathered by the Coalition tends to corroborate presumptions of the use of chemical weapons. If this is confirmed, it is extremely serious.

I told him we had referred the matter to the Security Council so that it could demand that the mission of Dr Åke Sellström, currently present in Damascus, be granted immediate access to establish the facts. The humanitarian organizations must also be able, without delay, to provide assistance to the victims on the ground.

I expressed to President Al-Jarba my most sincere condolences and France’s profound solidarity with the Syrian people amid their incredible suffering./.

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