U.S. says U.N. must have full access to Syria in chemical weapons investigation

The U.N. chemical weapon investigation team must have full access to all possible sites of chemical weapon use in Syria, the White House said on Thursday.

Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, made the remarks on Thursday during his daily press conference. Carney responded to questions about what U.S. expectations are for inspectors being allowed to examine three sites for chemical weapons in Syria. He said Syria must allow the U.N. team full access to all sites where reported attacks occurred.

"It is critical for the U.N. to be able to visit all of the sites for which it has received credible information indicating the use of chemical weapons," Carney said. "And the U.N. must be able to talk to key witnesses, doctors and affected individuals and examine and collect any physical evidence available without any interference or manipulation from the Syrian government."

Carney said that Bashar al-Assad's regime must follow through on the commitment, given the government's lack of credibility in the past. He said that the government must demonstrate a dedication to openness by allowing the team to examine more than the three permitted sites.

"If the Syrian government is truly committed to an impartial and credible investigation, it will facilitate the U.N. team's unfettered access to all sites of interest to the U.N. without further delay," Carney said.