U.N. chemical weapon investigation team visits U.S

Åke Sellström, the leader of the U.N.'s chemical weapons investigation in Syria, visited the U.S. last week with several members of his team, according to a press briefing on Thursday.

Patrick Ventrell, the acting deputy spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, said that Sellström and his team members visited Washington last week as part of a working-level visit with technical experts. Ventrell said the U.S. supports any U.N. investigations into credible allegations of chemical weapons use.

"We do have some U.N. folks who are here today," Ventrell said. "Mr. Sellström here visited the U.S. State Department today - consistent with our longstanding willingness to provide appropriate information, expertise, and resources as requested to support the United Nations' investigation into any and all credible allegations of chemical weapons use. So he was here in the building today meeting with a variety of offices and around town in Washington."

Bashar al-Jafari, Syria's ambassador to the U.N., previously said he will not allow the fact-finding mission to enter Syria. Ventrell said Syria must allow the U.N. team to enter Syria to prove the country has nothing to hide.

In the meantime, Sellström's team has started to gather information in key countries throughout the world.

"(Sellström's) been gathering this information," Ventrell said. "He's coming here to Washington. He's been at other capitals too, so he's been traveling and meeting with key countries. And so in terms of the U.N.'s movement to try to get into Syria, our position is the same: We want them to have access; the Syrian government, if they've got nothing to hide, should allow their entrance into the country. But I understand that hasn't happened yet. They continue to remain - be ready to deploy, but I refer you to the U.N. for more details."