The Speaker
Sunday, 19 May 2024 – 18:09

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson calls for greater power of chemical weapon watchdog OPCW

During a meeting in the Hague, British foreign secretary Boris Johnson calls for an inspection with regards to identifying the source of highly toxic chemical weapon attacks in Syria.

The UK seems to be headed towards a potential clash with Russia over the vote to identify who was responsible for the chemical weapons in Syria.

Russia fiercely opposed the issue and said that it would only politicise and disrespect the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) as the main body that inspects the use of chemical weapons.

The UK needed the support of 60 countries in order to give the OPCW the power to exercise these inspections. On Tuesday, they won the support of approximately 90 countries during the two-day meeting with the OPCW’s policy-making body at the Hague.

A total of 97 countries must vote in order for the issue to be passed and resolved.

Another vote will take place on Wednesday after a cooling off period.

Currently. The OPCW can only determine whether chemical weapons have been used but are not capable of holding anyone responsible for these attacks.

This has happened in the wake of the Russian spy poisoning in Salisbury, Wilts through a never agent attack in March and in Syria in April 2018 where 40 people were reportedly killed.

France has stated that it has proof of the use of chemical weapons in the area by Bashar Al-Assad’s regime however, the Syrian government denied that.

Russia, a key ally of Bashar Al-Assad’s regime, said that there has been “irrefutable evidence” that the UK had played a role in staging the incident.

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