Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (8 April) on the publication of the first report by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Investigation and Identification Team on the use of chemical weapons in Ltamenah, Syria, in March 2017:
We welcome the publication today of the OPCW report on the use of chemical weapons in Syria in March 2017. This report is an important step as regards establishing the facts surrounding this despicable crime. The report states clearly that the attacks were carried out by air force units belonging to the Syrian regime. We are grateful to the OPCW for its professional and independent investigations under very difficult circumstances.
We have always made it clear that we condemn the illegal use of chemical weapons in Syria in the strongest possible terms. Such a blatant violation of international law cannot go unpunished.
It is now up to the international community to react immediately and to ensure that those responsible are held to account. The German Government will lobby urgently for this in the UN Security Council and at the OPCW. We will support all further endeavours aimed at investigating and prosecuting such crimes.
Our respect for the victims and our shared responsibility for the OPCW as a cornerstone of non‑proliferation architecture make this incumbent upon us. Along with the 193 OPCW States Parties, we will continue to do our utmost to create a world free of chemical weapons for ourselves and future generations.