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President Niinistö: Syrian gas attack a threat to global peace

Dozens of civilians were reported to have died in a gas attack in Eastern Ghouta in Syria last weekend.

Sauli Niinistö
Sauli Niinistö Image: Emmi Korhonen / Lehtikuva

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said Monday that Finland strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons in any situation. He described the events as shocking and noted that Syria's protracted civil war has caused untold human suffering.

Niinistö’s comments follow reports of a deadly gas attack in the Eastern Ghouta district of the Syrian town of Douma last Saturday.

Medics and rescue workers reportedly claimed that dozens of civilians were killed in the attack on the last rebel-held area in the ongoing conflict that has sundered the country.

The international community responded to news of the gas attack with swift condemnation. United States President Donald Trump said Sunday that there would be “a big price to pay” for the alleged strike. The United Nations Security Council was due to discuss the matter on Monday afternoon.

Russia and Syria have both denied that the Syrian government was behind the alleged attack.

In a statement on the issue issued Monday, Niinistö said that it is important for the parties involved in the conflict to speedily and thoroughly clarify the weekend’s events. He also declared that a negotiated settlement is the only way to permanently calm the situation.

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