The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on the release of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) report on the chemical weapons attack on Douma, Syria, in April 2018:
“Today’s OPCW report finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the Syrian Arab Air Force perpetrated the toxic chemical chlorine attack on Douma, Syria, in April 2018. This reprehensible attack is one of several that targeted and terrorized the Syrian population.
“Canada condemns the Assad regime for its repeated use of chemical weapons, which is a flagrant breach of international law. Syria has been a State Party to the Chemical Weapons Convention since 2013. Any production, possession or use of chemical weapons is a gross violation of Article I of that convention.
“The Assad regime has not worked constructively with the OPCW. The regime has not engaged with the OPCW’s Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) and it has made no recent effort to resolve the gaps, inconsistencies and discrepancies in its declaration to the OPCW.
“Canada also condemns the Russian regime for spreading deliberate falsehoods to sow confusion and raise doubts about the work of the IIT. This is unacceptable. Syria’s non-compliance has been documented and the facts are not debatable. Russia must stop protecting the Assad regime for its political ends.
“Canada calls on Syria to cooperate with the OPCW. Syria must be fully transparent about its chemical weapons program. This includes declaring and destroying any remaining chemical weapon capability under OPCW supervision.
“Canada trusts the professionalism, impartiality and integrity of the IIT. We commend the IIT for fulfilling its mandate and persevering through the challenges posed by the Assad regime.
“Canada stands by the victims of this abhorrent crime and will continue engaging partners and the international community to work toward a more peaceful world that is free of chemical weapons.”