U.N. report on Syria chemical attack "probably" out Monday, says France

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 12, 2013 3:14 AM
U.N. report on Syria chemical attack "probably" out Monday, says France

PARIS (Reuters) - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Thursday that UN inspectors who investigated an August 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria would "probably" publish their report on Monday.

Diplomats have said the report is unlikely to pin blame on either side in the conflict opposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebel forces, but that it would contain enough detail to suggest which party was responsible.

Depending on its wording, the report could become a bargaining chip in talks between Moscow and the West about placing the weapons under international control.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are due to meet in Geneva on Thursday to try to agree on a strategy to eliminate the chemical arsenal.

Fabius said there was little doubt that Assad's forces, which he said possessed 1,000 tonnes of chemical weapons, were behind the attack.

Diplomatic sources said earlier that the UN report may come out Monday, as early as this weekend, or later next week.

(Reporting By Nicholas Vinocur; Editing by John Stonestreet)