Statement by Turkey at the Security Council Meeting on “the Situation in the Middle East”

Feridun H. Sinirlioğlu 05.01.2021
Mr. President,

I would like to congratulate you on Tunisia’s assumption of the Presidency of the Council. I would also like to thank High Representative Nakamitsu for her briefing.
I also wish to salute the new members of the Security Council, India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, Norway and wish them all the success.
We have analyzed the 87th monthly report of the OPCW Director General on the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons programme.
The findings in the report deepen our concerns regarding the outstanding issues in relation to the Assad regime’s chemical weapons declaration.
Out of those 19 outstanding issues established by the OPCW, one is particularly alarming. A chemical weapons production facility obviously exists, in stark contradiction with the claim by the regime to the contrary.
This is yet another proof to the fraudulent nature of the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons declaration.
As the OPCW Director General highlighted last month before this Council, the identified gaps, inconsistencies and discrepancies in that declaration still remain.
Therefore, the regime must fully cooperate with the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT) and immediately declare the full extent of its chemical weapons programme to the OPCW.
This would require, among others, the declaration of the exact types and quantities of chemical agents produced and/or weaponised, in line with the relevant provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
In order to ensure this, the international community, particularly the Security Council, must act in unity and with determination.
Mr. President,

The OPCW Executive Council decision of 9 July 2020 remains particularly important. It has set clear and verifiable parameters for action and required the Syrian regime to return to full compliance with the Convention within 90 days. Turkey has co-sponsored this decision.
As the OPCW Director-General has confirmed both in his briefing to this Council last month and in his report in October, the Syrian regime has failed to fulfill its obligations under this decision.
We therefore support concrete measures in order to address the persistent non-compliance of the Syrian regime with the Chemical Weapons Convention.
To this end, Turkey has co-sponsored a draft decision, along with 45 States Parties, which will be considered during the second part of the 25th session of the Conference of States Parties.
Mr. President,
We strongly condemn the repeated and well-documented use of chemical weapons by the regime against its own population.
We look forward to the completion of the current investigations by the Fact Finding Mission (FFM) and the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT).
Turkey reiterates its full support to the IIT, which plays a critical role in identifying the perpetrators of chemical weapons use in Syria.
We once again express our confidence and support to the OPCW Technical Secretariat and its investigative bodies. Their dedicated work is critical and must be supported. We regret attempts that question their integrity and credibility.
Mr. President,
lt had been more than 7 years since the Ghouta attack. It is high time to take concrete action in order to ensure accountability in Syria.

We have enough evidence for the culpability of the regime, as documented in the reports of the UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), the FFM and most recently the IIT report on Ltamenah.
We once again condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons on three occasions in Ltamenah, in March 2017, by the Syrian regime air force, as established by the IIT report.
In conclusion, Mr. President, we must act now to end impunity for the chemical weapons use in Syria. Urging the regime for swift and tangible cooperation with the OPCW is an indispensable step for the implementation of resolution 2118. This is also key to prevent the recurrence of chemical weapons use by the regime.
I would like to once again underline the special responsibility of those who have influence on the Syrian regime in this regard.
Thank you.
As to the statement made by the Syrian regime representative, I will repeat, I do not consider him as my legitimate counterpart, his presence here is an affront to the millions of Syrians who suffered countless crimes at the hands of the regime and therefore I will not honor his delusional remarks with a response.