EU Endorses ‘Strong Response’ To Syria
European foreign ministers have endorsed a “clear and strong response” to a chemical weapons attack that they say strongly points to the Syrian government. But the ministers, meeting in Lithuania, are urging the U.S. to delay possible military action until U.N. inspectors report their findings.
After meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the EU ministers ended days of division on the issue with a statement saying the available intelligence “seems to indicate strong evidence that the Syrian regime is responsible for these attacks.”
Kerry thanked the European Union for a “strong statement about the need for accountability.” But a senior State Department official says Kerry made clear that the U.S. hasn’t made any decision to wait.
Germany joins US in blaming Assad for attack
BERLIN (AP) — Germany has joined the United States and ten other members of the Group of 20 biggest economies in blaming the Syrian government for a chemical attack against civilians last month.
Germany had been the only European member of the G-20 not to co-sign a joint statement issued Friday at the end of the G20 meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The statement calls for a strong international response against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad but stops short of explicitly calling for military action against the Syrian government.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Saturday in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius that Germany wanted to wait for European Union foreign ministers to agree on a common position before backing the statement.
Paper: UN team could submit Syria report next week
BERLIN (AP) — A German newspaper is reporting that a team of United Nations chemical weapons inspectors could submit initial findings from its tests of samples collected in Syria by the end of next week.
The respected weekly Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung says the interim report to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon will likely contain details on the gas, ammunition and delivery systems used in the attack that killed hundreds of people in a suburb of Damscus on Aug. 21.
The newspaper said Saturday its report was based on information provided by two unnamed persons close to the inspection team.
The paper reported that the inspectors collected almost 100 samples from the site of the attack, including pieces of rubble and ammunitions remains, as well as hair, tissue, blood and urine samples from humans and animals.