Missile Attacks on Syria Aiming to Hinder OPCW Probe Into "Chem Attack": Lavrov

The Russian and Chinese foreign ministers have held a joint press conference after talks in Beijing, which were dedicated to the situation in Syria and the Korean peninsula in the wake of North Korea's decision to halt nuclear and missile tests.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has lashed out at the missile strikes carried out by the US, France and the UK on Syria, saying that they were aimed at hindering the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) investigation into the alleged use of poisonous substances in Douma, Eastern Ghouta, Sputnik reported.

 "Both sides gave an extremely negative assessment of the missile attack of the United States and its allies on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic. This is a gross violation of international law," Lavrov said at a press conference following a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.

"Even those countries that have been compelled to say words of support… which the United States, Great Britain and France have undertaken, were forced to it. Most of them perfectly understand that this is an unacceptable way to solve the most serious international crises," Lavrov added.

China fully supports Russia's efforts to return the Syrian settlement process within the framework of UN Security Council resolution 2254, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Monday.

"Syria settlement must return to the framework of resolution 2254. Russia is making a lot of effort on it, which we fully support," Wang told reporters after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

"We are against any use of chemical weapons, and think that an objective impartial investigation of what happened [in Douma] is needed," the minister added.

The OPCW inspectors should do their work in the Syrian city of Douma without external pressure; Russia will insist that they visit every location concerning the alleged chemical attack in Syria, Sergei Lavrov said.

Iran Nuclear Deal

"We are against revising these agreements, we consider it very counterproductive to try to reduce to zero years of international work carried out via talks between the six major powers and Iran," Lavrov stressed.

"We will obstruct attempts to sabotage these agreements which were enshrined in a UN Security Council resolution," Lavrov said.

The relations between Iran and the US have worsened since Donald Trump came to power, particularly due to the US president's criticism of the JCPOA. The multilateral agreement envisages gradual lifting of the western anti-Iran sanctions in exchange for Tehran abandoning its nuclear weapons program.

Lavrov Praises Russian-Chinese cooperation

Russia’s and China’s consolidated line aimed at strict compliance with international agreements plays a very important role in boosting global stability, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Monday, according Itar Tass.

"Russia’s and China’s consolidated policy aimed at strictly complying with international law plays a key role in strengthening stability and security in the world," he said.

According to Russia’s top diplomat, the development of strategic partnership with China is a priority of Russian foreign policy. "We expect a high intensity of contacts to be maintained this year as well," Lavrov stressed. For his part, Wang Yi noted that further strengthening of Russian-Chinese relations meets the two countries’ interests.

"I hope that today’s talks, which precede tomorrow’s SCO Council of Foreign Ministers meeting, will make it possible for us to talk about all these issues and outline plans for the future," Lavrov concluded.

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