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Use of nerve agent in Britain unacceptable, UN chief says

March 14, 2018

431354_81352618UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday the use of a nerve agent in an attack on a former Russian spy in Britain was “unacceptable” and called for a thorough investigation.

“The use of nerve agents as a weapon under any circumstances is unacceptable and its use by a state would constitute a serious violation of international law,” UN spokesman Farhan Haq quoted Guterres as saying.

The comments came before an emergency meeting of the Security Council called at Britain s request to discuss the attack that left ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in critical condition.

The UN spokesman said that Guterres was “deeply concerned” by the attack on March 4 in the English city of Salisbury.

“While the secretary-general is not in a position to attribute responsibility, he strongly condemns the use of any nerve agent or chemical weapon and hopes that the incident will be thoroughly investigated,” Haq added.

British Prime Minister Theresa May expelled 23 Russian diplomats and suspended high-level contacts with Russia after Moscow did not respond to her demand for an explanation.

May told parliament that the Russian state was “culpable” for the attempted murder of Skripal and his daughter.

Moscow has denied any involvement in the attack using the nerve agent Novichok, which was developed by the Soviet Union and later inherited by Russia.

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