Russia-Turkey agree to support OPCW investigation into Syria attack
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the latest developments in Syria by phone on April 13 and agreed to support an investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) into the use of chemical weapons in northern Syria.
The presidential office stated that the Turkish leader stressed that the use of chemical weapons “is the greatest crime against humanity.”
The two leaders underlined the significance of joint efforts by Ankara and Moscow to continue the Geneva and Astana peace talks and agreed to work together to sustain the Syria ceasefire. Putin and Erdoğan also agreed that the normalization of ties between their two countries should be accelerated, according to the statement.
In an earlier televised interview, Erdoğan had said he and Putin had agreed to support an investigation by the OPCW into the use of chemical weapons in northern Syria.
A suspected gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun in northwest Syria on April 4 killed nearly 90 people.
Russia demanded examination by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. A British delegation of the international chemical weapons watchdog said in a tweet that the organization’s director general has said its investigators already are testing samples and the mission is expected to report its findings in three weeks.
The OPCW’s Fact Finding Mission investigates alleged attacks but does not apportion blame.