Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Uruguay: freed Guantanamo detainees try to adjust to normal life

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Turkey: Inside the Alevi community

Read more

FOCUS

China: A tense Christmas in Wenzhou

Read more

DEBATE

Pope's Scathing Tidings: Pontiff Blasts 'Illnesses' at Vatican's Heart (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Pope's Scathing Tidings: Pontiff Blasts 'Illnesses' at Vatican's Heart

Read more

WEB NEWS

Gaza children draw what their future will look like

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Catholic cardinals get coal for Christmas from Pope Francis

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

François Hollande's Christmas wish list

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Embedded with the Islamic State Group

Read more

Europe

France to wait for UN report before Syria intervention

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-09-06

France will await the conclusions of UN inspectors investigating an August 21 suspected chemical weapon attack outside Damascus before deciding on launching military action in Syria, President François Hollande said Friday at a G20 summit in Russia.

France will await conclusions by U.N. inspectors investigating last month’s chemical weapon attack in Syria before deciding on any action, President Francois Hollande said on Friday.

That could mean French involvement in any military strikes against Bashar al-Assad not being decided until close to the end of the month at the earliest. U.N. diplomats have said the results of the U.N. analysis may not be ready for weeks.

“We shall await the report of the inspectors just as we will await (U.S.) Congress,” he told a news conference after a summit of G20 nations in Russia’s St. Petersburg, referring to an expected U.S. vote on military strikes.

Domestic critics say Hollande risks diplomatically isolating France by pushing it into a military intervention alongside the United States but without a U.N. mandate. Russia and China are seen vetoing such action in the U.N. Security Council.

The French leader acknowledged that G20 leaders at the summit disagreed on who was responsible for an Aug. 21 gas attacks on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus which Washington says killed more than 1,400 people.

He said a clear U.N. mandate was preferable but said that he would aim to bring together a coalition of states in favour of intervention if the U.N. Security Council could not agree.

“We will do everything we can so that France only strikes military targets to avoid civilian casualties,” he said of any action chosen to punish Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, adding that the objective would be to push a political solution to the 2-1/2 year civil war rather than directly oust Assad.

He said U.S. President Barack Obama had told him a U.S. Congress vote on any intervention was due around the middle of next week.

“If we did not respond ... it would mean that a dictator who uses chemical weapons and massacres almost 1,500 people and many children would have no punishment for his actions meaning that in Syria or elsewhere dictators could act with impunity,” Hollande said.

Hollande, who has struggled to get backing from European partners on a possible strike, said he was hopeful he could at least get their political support. “I am trying to make sure that the Europeans agree, at least on the political position.

(REUTERS)

 

Date created : 2013-09-06

  • SYRIA - G20

    Obama, Hollande to face off with Putin over Syria

    Read more

  • SYRIA - G20

    G20: Where the key players stand on Syria

    Read more

  • FRANCE - SYRIA

    No Syria action without UN, says French opposition

    Read more

COMMENT(S)