UN chief strongly condemns use of nerve agents

LONDON (AP) — The U.N. says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemns any use of nerve agents, calling their use as a weapon “unacceptable” and warning that use by a state “would constitute a serious violation of international law.”

U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq was responding to a question Wednesday on whether British Prime Minister Theresa May was justified to expel Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning of an ex-Russian agent blamed on Russia.

Haq told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York that Guterres is not in a position to attribute responsibility for the attack, but “he strongly condemns the use of any nerve agent or chemical weapons and hopes that the incident will be thoroughly investigated.”

He said Guterres conveyed his sympathy and hopes for the early recovery of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who remain in critical condition in a hospital in Salisbury, southwestern England, after being found unconscious on March 4.