CAPE TOWN, April 16 (Xinhua) -- The South African government has voiced its opposition to the airstrikes conducted by the U.S., British and French military on Syria.
The government noted with grave concern the airstrikes against a sovereign state, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement posted on the government website on Monday.
The alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria cannot be a justification for military airstrikes in a territory of a sovereign state without the authorization of the United Nations Security Council, the statement said.
In the same vein, South Africa condemns the use of chemical weapons by any party in the Syrian territory, the statement said.
"We remain steadfast in our principled position that the issue should be resolved in the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations Security Council," said the statement.
South Africa urges all members of the UN Security Council to shoulder their UN Charter mandate for the maintenance of international peace and security and double all efforts toward a peaceful non-military solution that respects and guarantees the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria, the statement said.
From the onset, when the Syrian crisis broke out, South Africa has consistently and constantly called for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
On Saturday, the U.S., Britain and France launched coordinated airstrikes against Syrian military targets reportedly associated with Syrian chemical weapons program, according to the statement.
The airstrikes were conducted under the pretext of punishing the Syrian government for the alleged use of chemical weapons in an attack on the rebel-held town of Douma in the east of Damascus on April 7.
The Syrian government has repeatedly dismissed the alleged chemical attack in Douma as fabrication by the rebels and their foreign supporters to justify military strikes on Syria.