The European Union has echoed Washington’s stance on Damascus, accusing the Syrian army of being behind a chemical weapons attack on a number of Damascus suburbs last month.
Following a meeting in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, on Saturday, EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton held Damascus responsible for the alleged attack which was carried out on August 21. However, Ashton added that any talk of military action against Syria could be put off until results of an investigation by the United Nations chemical weapons experts in Syria are made public.
“… I think our voices are clear in saying we want to see a clear and strong response. We’ve also been clear too about[the United Nations] inspectors and the report…, ” she said.
Ashton also stated that the EU is ready to provide support needed for a political solution to the current Syrian crisis. The EU foreign policy chief also welcomed French President Francois Hollande’s decision to wait for the release of the UN report before taking military action against Syria. Following the summit of the Group of Twenty developed and developing economies(G20) in Russia, world leaders remain divided over a military strike on Syria.
“I can tell you who favored military action. It is the US, Turkey, Canada, Saudi Arabia and France, while the British prime minister’s support for the US was not shared by his citizens, ” Russian President Vladimir Putin said following the summit, adding, “Now, who were categorically against: Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and Italy. ”
Meanwhile, Germany says it has signed a global G20 statement, urging a “strong response” to the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria. The war rhetoric against the Middle Eastern country first gained momentum on August 21, when the militants operating inside Syria and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition claimed that over a thousand people had been killed in a government chemical attack on the outskirts of Damascus. Damascus categorically rejected the accusation as part of a scheme to draw in foreign military intervention. Nevertheless, a number of Western countries, particularly the US, France, and the UK, hastily began a publicity campaign to promote military action against the Syrian nation. The United Nations, Iran, Russia, and China have warned against an attack against Syria.