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Turkish FM to meet U.N. expert probing Syria chemical arms claims

Published: Updated:

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is due to meet Thursday with the U.N. expert leading a probe into allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria, his ministry said.

Davutoglu will hold closed-door talks in Ankara with Swedish expert Ake Sellstrom, who, along with his team of investigators, has so far been barred from entering Syria.

President Bashar al-Assad’s regime had asked for a U.N. investigation after accusing rebels of using chemical arms in the 27-month-old conflict that according to activists has left 100,000 dead.

But it has refused to give access to Sellstrom and his experts after U.N. leader Ban Ki-moon insisted that all alleged attacks be probed.

Britain, France and the United States have forwarded evidence of alleged attacks to the U.N..

And Sellstrom’s team is interviewing witnesses who have fled Syria.

Turkey has also carried out blood tests on wounded Syrian refugees in a bid to assess if their injuries had been caused by chemical weapons.

Turkey, a vocal critic of the Damascus regime, has taken in around 400,000 refugees as well as army defectors and repeatedly called on the international community to act on the crisis.