US ignored appeals for Syria chemical arms proof: Russia
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russia on Monday accused Washington of ignoring Moscow's appeals for proof of Syrian government involvement in chemical weapons attacks in Syria during the country's more than 21/2-year-old civil war.
Moscow's allegations against Washington come as both say they are encouraging peace talks that Western powers and Gulf Arab states hope will lead to the departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the formation of a transitional government.
"Our requests for additional information which could prove the Syrian government involvement in the use of chemical weapons were ignored by Washington," Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters after a closed-door meeting on chief UN chemical arms investigator Ake Sellstrom's final report.
Mr Churkin said allegations about Syrian government involvement in chemical attacks, including an Aug 21 sarin gas attack that killed hundreds of people, "were not persuasive". He said Moscow viewed the Aug 21 incident as a provocation by the rebels.