India on Thursday reacted cautiously to the recent chemical attack in Syria, saying its consistent position is that the use of chemical weapons by anyone anywhere under any circumstances should not happen. It added that perpetrators of such an act should be held accountable.
However, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay did not explicitly condemn the attack, for which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government is being held responsible.
Gopal Baglay, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson India is a signatory to the chemical weapons convention. It has been our consistent position that the use of chemical weapons by anyone anywhere under any circumstances should not happen. Any perpetrator of such an act should be held accountable. That is our position on the use of chemical weapons.
He also referred to the statements made by the foreign minister of Russia and the US secretary of state after their meeting in Moscow on Wednesday.
He quoted the statement as saying:
We and both Russia and the US believe in a unified and stable Syria. We agree to deny a safe haven to terrorists. We think that it is important to defeat terrorists, which in that particular theatre is represented by, among others, the ISIS.
The cooperation of all countries is vital to achieving this objective, Baglay said.
When specifically asked about the air strikes by the US, he said:
I have referred to the meeting of the US and Russian foreign ministers. What they said was about the desirability, stability and unity of Syria, and defeating terrorism.
A chemical attack was carried out on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in Syria on 4 April and, according to reports, it killed scores of civilians and left dozens with respiratory problems and symptoms including vomiting, fainting and foaming at the mouth.
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