On Wednesday, the 25th session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) suspended the voting rights and privileges of the Syrian Arab Republic, accusing Damascus of failing to comply with the treaty, which prohibits the use of all chemicals on the battlefield.
The resolution was passed by 87 votes in favor to 15 against, including Syria, Iran, Russia and China. There were also 34 abstentions out of 136 countries taking part.
France had introduced the anti-Syria motion on behalf of 46 countries also including Britain and the United States.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that only 45 percent of CWC’s 193 member states, not the majority, voted in favor of “the illegitimate decision,” which is inconsistent with the OPCW’s usual procedures.
“The Syrian Arab Republic condemns, in the strongest terms, the hostile approach embodied today in the work of the 25th session of the Conference of the States Parties in the Chemical Weapons convention, as Western countries, especially the US, Britain and France practiced the most heinous methods of blackmail, threats and pressure to pass a Western decision against Syria in a dangerous precedent in the history of the organization,” it added.
The ministry also complained that the countries behind the resolution have “deliberately ignored the great efforts exerted by Syria during eight years, since its voluntary access to CWC, and the unprecedented cooperation it has showed with the Organization teams.”
“The decision is a message that comes in the context of the western direct support for the terrorist groups in Syria, and it is an encouragement to terrorists to go ahead in their crimes, including the chemical crimes, perpetrated by these groups in all incidents witnessed in Syria against civilians,” it said.
Separately, Syria’s OPCW Representative Rania Al-Rifai stressed that the resolution is a manifestation of support for terrorists by the states that proposed the measure.
“The decision was made based on false reports that contain fabricated and misconceived conclusions,” she said. “There is no doubt that this decision will encourage terrorists in their actions so that they continue to commit their crimes against innocent civilians particularly with the use of chemicals.”
Syria surrendered its entire chemical stockpile in 2013 to a mission led by the United Nations and the OPCW.
It believes that false-flag chemical attacks on the country’s soil have been staged by foreign-backed terrorists in a bid to pressure the government amid army advances.