Moscow condemns Syrian threat to use chemical weapons

 Moscow has condemned a threat by the Syrian government to use chemical weapons.

During a meeting with Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad in Moscow on Wednesday, the Russian president's envoy on the Middle East, Mikhail Bogdanov, "set out in an utterly clear form the Russian position that no threats of use of chemical weapons are acceptable and that Damascus must strictly abide by its commitments under the Geneva protocol of 1925," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Bogdanov, who is a deputy foreign minister, "re-emphasized the Russian principle that the Syrian crisis must be settled in a peaceful way on the basis of the fulfillment by all the parties of the plan of Kofi Annan, special envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League, and the decisions worked out by the Action Group for Syria on June 30 this year in Geneva," the ministry said.

Earlier, Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad al-Makdissi had said Damascus would use chemical weapons but only in the event of a foreign attack on the country. Later, the Syrian government said his words had been torn out of context.

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