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India concerned over fresh use of chemical weapons

The Hague, July 11: India has expressed concern over fresh allegations of use of chemical weapons in different parts of the world, according to a statement issued by the Indian Embassy in The Hague on Wednesday. According to the statement, addressing the 88th Session of the Executive Council of the Organisation for Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) here on Tuesday, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to OPCW Venu Rajamony while expressing concern over these reports, also expressed sympathies to the victims of such attacks. “India shares the wide-spread concern over fresh allegations on the use of chemical weapons coming from different parts of the world,” Rajamony said.

“We are saddened to learn about the tragic loss of life of a UK citizen in Amesbury following the exposure to a toxic chemical,” he said in reference to the death of a a 45-year-old woman in Britain last week after being exposed to the deadly nerve agent Novichok, the same substance that was used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in an attack that occurred just miles away earlier this year. “We express our deepest sympathies to all victims of chemical weapon attacks and their families.”

Rajamony said it has been India’s consistent position that the use of chemical weapons anywhere, at any time, by anybody, under any circumstances, cannot be justified and the perpetrators of such abhorrent acts must be held accountable. “The use of chemical weapons is in complete disregard of humanity and is reprehensible and contrary to the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention as well as accepted international legal norms,” he said, adding that India is deeply worried about reports of the Islamic State terrorist outfit acquiring chemical weapons and their delivery systems.

Rajamony said that, as one of the original signatories of the Convention and an active member of the OPCW, India has always emphasised the importance of consensus and the need for all decisions to be taken by the states parties in consultation with each other. “It is the responsibility of all state parties to preserve and protect the integrity and credibility of the Convention,” he said. (IANS)

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