Majority favour letting OPCW name chemical attack perpetrators

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The Hague, June 28 (IANS) A majority of the countries taking part in a special conference on Wednesday voted in favour of letting the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) name those responsible for carrying out such attacks.

The UK’s proposed initiative, which gives the organization further powers than just confirming or denying if there has been a chemical weapons attack, was voted through with 82 countries in favor and 12 against, Efe reported.

“The international community has come together to strengthen the ban against chemical weapons use,” said the UK’s delegation on its official Twitter account.

The OPCW had until now only been permitted to confirm or deny whether a chemical attack had been carried out.

Russia’s representatives, who delayed the vote for over an hour, said the UK’s proposal was a ploy and that London had entangled its allies in a flagrant anti-Russian campaign after the alleged poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.

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Moscow does not have veto powers in the OPCW and was also unable to convince its allies to vote against the initiative, which is a threat to the Russia-backed Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, accused on numerous occasions of carrying out chemical weapons attacks against his people that may have killed hundreds.

–IANS

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