SYRIA: UK MUST ANSWER QUESTIONS ON CHEMICAL SALES
Sunday, 01 September 2013 09:56
The SNP has condemned the 'utter hypocrisy' of the UK Government after it was revealed that it allowed the sale of chemicals which can be used to make nerve gas to Syria.
Today's Sunday Mail reports that export licences were granted to British firms to export potassium flouride and sodium fluoride - which can be used to make the chemical weapon sarin - several months after the brutal civil war in Syria began:
The licences were only revoked when the EU imposed sanctions on the Assad regime last summer.
Sarin is thought to be the nerve gas used in the chemical weapons attacks seen last week, in which over 1400 people died.
SNP Westminster Leader Angus Robertson has said that he will be seeking answers from the UK Government at the earliest opportunity.
Commenting, Mr Robertson said: “This is utter hypocrisy from the UK Government - deploring chemical weapons in public whilst approving the sale of items needed to make them.
"I will be raising this at Westminster as soon as possible to find out what examination the UK Government made of where these chemicals were going, and what they were to be used for. Approving the sale of chemicals which can be converted into lethal weapons during a civil war is a very serious issue.
"This is the latest in a series of revelations about UK activities in Syria. Last year it emerged that the Ministry of Defence has trained members of the Syrian Army in at least 8 years since 2001, with no indication given as to what exactly that training involved.
“We need to know who these chemicals were sold to, why they were sold, and whether the UK Government were aware that the chemicals could potentially be used for chemical weapons.
"The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria makes a full explanation around these shady deals even more important.”