TEHRAN, YJC.-- Syria has not yet agreed to give the “unfettered access” demanded by the United Nations for an inquiry into the alleged use of chemical weapons in the country’s conflict, diplomats said Wednesday.
The international body wants the team to start work as early as next week but has still not reached an agreement with President Bashar al-Assad’s government on the extent of the investigation, diplomats and U.N. officials said. However, earlier reports suggested that Syria had approved U.N. Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom head the inquiry.
"The government has still not given this pledge. This will be the key to whether the mission can start, but it is too early to say yet that it will be called off,” a U.N. diplomat told AFP.
"There are discussions going on ... about the terms of reference,” U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters.
"It is obvious that to be able to do this work, you need unfettered access and that is why the secretary general has underscored that in his communications,” Nesirky said.
The Syrian government has asked the U.N. to investigate its accusation that opposition rebels used chemical weapons in Aleppo province.