Hon Speaker, the ANC condemns the imminent US missile strikes planned against the Syrian government in retaliation for that government's alleged use of chemical weapons against its own citizens, where more than 1 400 people were killed. It must be emphasised that the ANC does not condone any use of chemical weapons, particularly directed against innocent civilians, nor of vengeful violence through military interventions that might worsen the humanitarian situation.
The ANC believes in a peaceful resolution of all conflicts and therefore calls on all parties in the Syrian conflict to pursue a negotiated solution to the conflict.
We support the suggestion made by Russia urging the Syrian government to put its chemical weapons arsenal under international control. We also support the proposal of the UN for the creation of UN-supervised zones in Syria where the chemical weapons can be stored and destroyed if their existence is confirmed. We support President Jacob Zuma's assertion that the UN should be respected as the only authority that can intervene militarily in any country, and only if all other avenues have been exhausted. I thank you. [Applause.]