H.E. Dr. Bashar Ia’afari
Permanent Representative of
The Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations New York
I refer to your letter of 2 April 2013 and to our meeting of the same data during which we discussed your Government’s suggested amendments to the exchange of letters that I had proposed which would establish the legal and logistical parameters for the conduct of the investigation mission. We have considered the points raised by your Government. In accordance with the Secretary-General's letter of 21 March 2013 to the Deputy Prime Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic, I Wish to confirm that the investigation mission will look at the specific incident brought to his attention by your Government and investigate the facts related to the reported incident on 19 March 2013 at Khan al—Asal in Aleppo Governorate. The mission will gather relevant data and undertake the necessary analyses for this purpose.
At the same time, we must remain mindful of other allegations that chemical Weapons were used elsewhere in the country. As you are aware, the mandate given to the Secretary-General by the General Assembly and the Security Council is to carry out investigations in response to reports that may be brought to his attention by any Member State concerning the possible use of chemical and bacteriological (biological) or toxin weapons that may constitute a violation of the 1925 Geneva Protocol or other relevant rules of customary international law. In this connection, the Secretary-General continues to assess the reports submitted by the Governments of France and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland pursuant to their joint request of 21 March 2013, to which the Secretary-General had referred in his above mentioned letter.
On the basis of the foregoing we will be prepared to discuss the amendments your Government has proposed to the exchange of letters. In this regard, I wish to inform you that while we may be able to reach a compromise on certain of the, proposed amendments, it will be solely for the Secretary—General to determine the composition of the investigation mission, which should have the necessary freedom of movement and access to conduct a thorough and objective investigation. The names of the members of the mission will be provided to your Government in advance. In this respect, the Organization will be ready to consult with your Government, as appropriate.
I look forward to your Government’s reply so that we may proceed to finalize the arrangements necessary to deploy the investigation mission as soon as possible.
Please accept, Excellency, The assurances of my highest consideration.
High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
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