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NATO regrets U.N. inspectors denied access by Syria

Published: Updated:

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday he regretted Syria’s refusal to authorize access to U.N. inspectors probing the possible use of chemical weapons in the conflict.

“It’s very important that U.N. inspectors get full and free access to Syria to investigate what has actually happened, and it is regrettable that so far the Syrian authorities have denied the U.N. such access,” Rasmussen said at a news conference.

He said he had no conclusive information on the use of chemical weapons after human rights investigator Carla del Ponte said there was evidence rebels may have used the deadly nerve agent sarin against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

“I would like to stress that the use of chemical weapons is a breach of international law whoever uses them,” Rasmussen said.

“We are very deeply concerned” about the situation in Syria, he added. “We call on the international community to find a political solution as soon as possible.”

But he refused to comment on reports of Israel’s weekend strikes against targets in Syria. “I’m aware of press reports,” he said. “We have no indication of such activity in areas relevant to NATO Patriots.”