France, Britain sound alarm over chemical weapons in Syria

BRUSSELS Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:39am EDT

France's Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius speaks during the questions to the government session at the National Assembly in Paris March 20, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

France's Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius speaks during the questions to the government session at the National Assembly in Paris March 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Benoit Tessier

Related Topics

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - French and British foreign ministers expressed concern on Friday over what they said was President Bashar al-Assad's willingness to use chemical weapons in the civil war in Syria.

The Syrian government and rebels accused each other of using such weapons in a rocket attack near Aleppo on Tuesday that killed 26 people.

However, a U.S. official has said it increasingly appeared that a chemical weapon was not used. Nor has any previous such deployment been confirmed.

But in a letter to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, sent before a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Dublin to discuss Syria, ministers Laurent Fabius and William Hague said: "The crisis is increasingly threatening regional stability... and we are increasingly concerned about the regime's willingness to use chemical weapons."

In the letter, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, Fabius and Hague reiterated calls for the European Union to ease its arms embargo on Syria to allow for more help to the opposition. The issue will be discussed in Dublin on Friday.

The two ministers also said it would be increasingly difficult for the European Union to maintain its sanctions against Syria without exemptions for the opposition.

(Reporting by Justyna Pawlak; Editing by Rex Merrifield and Angus MacSwan)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
Tiu wrote:
Ashton is just echoing her mentor’s (Tony BLiar) false intelligence reporting methods. She is completely untrustworthy and should not be representing Europe.

Mar 22, 2013 9:00am EDT  --  Report as abuse
gregbrew56 wrote:
Last time I checked, there was zero evidence that chemical weapons had actually been used. Didn’t “W” and “Dickie” already overplay this hand?

Warmongers will continue to beat their drums, driving us to war, heralding yet another one of the largest transfers of wealth out of the hands of taxpayers and into the hands of the moneyed few.

How long until a majority of humans rise up and

STOP THIS MADNESS??!??

Mar 22, 2013 10:33am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Life1 wrote:
@gregbrew56: half the posters on here are bloodthirsty psychopaths… Humans in general are a lost cause.

Mar 22, 2013 2:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.