Originally published at 17:21
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MOSCOW, September 7 (RIA Novosti) – EU foreign ministers have called for a “clear and firm” response to those guilty of using chemical weapons in the conflict in Syria, the EU’s top diplomat Catherine Ashton said Saturday at a security policy meeting in Vilnius attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
"It seems to indicate strong evidence that the Syrian regime is responsible for these attacks as it is the only one that possesses chemical weapons agents and means of their delivery in a sufficient quantity," Ashton said in a statement on the EU website.
But that call came with an appeal from the EU to the United States not to commence military operations against the Syrian regime until the publication of a UN report into the alleged use of chemical weapons in the conflict, The Associated Press reported.
"We note the on-going UN investigation on the August 21 attack and further investigations on other chemical weapons attacks carried out in this conflict. It hopes a preliminary report of this first investigation can be released as soon as possible and welcomes [French] President Hollande‘s statement to wait for this report before any further action," Ashton said.
The UN weapons inspectors' report on chemical arms use in Syria is likely to be handed in at the end of next week, President Hollande said Saturday, Reuters reported.
"When the (US) Congress will have voted on Thursday or Friday and when we will have the inspectors' report, likely at the end of the week, a decision will have to be made," Hollande said.
The United States is keeping its options open on whether to carry out a strike against Syria before UN experts present their report into the recent alleged chemical weapons attacks there, Kerry said in Paris later in the day after talks with the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.
President Obama has not yet made a decision and is “keeping all options open,” Kerry said.
Kerry expressed his gratitude to the EU ministers for their “strong position” on Syria, Reuters reported.
Kerry attended the Vilnius meeting in a bid to drum up support for US military action, AFP reported. Four EU states - Britain, France, Italy and Spain - had previously signed up Friday to a declaration of support for "strong measures" to be taken by the international community against Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons. Germany said Saturday it had also signed up to the declaration.
President Obama is seeking approval from Congress next week for a military operation against the Syrian government for allegedly using chemical weapons near the capital Damascus last month. US intelligence sources claim those attacks killed almost 1,400 people.
Updated with quotes from Catherine Ashton, President Hollande and Secretary Kerry
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- stpetersburgHope and Deliverance22:53, 07/09/2013Could the Russians, Chinese , and other Western members of the UN agree on the decommissioning of WMD including chemical weapons by UN inspectors in Syria like Iraq 1991
Could Assad agree to that with Russian pressure and even if Assads regime was overthrown the Russians would be sure they would not get into the wrong hand s
The USA would be in a stronger position then if the UN resolution was not complied to for military action
Build on the G 2 peace conference in Geneva with all parties taking part
- rochefortfrancois(no title)23:16, 07/09/2013I wonder who pulls the wires behind the puppets. They can't be all that stupid!? Can they?
- bielec'Clear and firm' response to EU ministers is needed00:12, 08/09/2013Didn't we read just a few days ago that the UN inspectors can determine whether or not the chemical weapons were used in Syria but will not be able to establish who used them?
Given that WMD are repeatedly the preferred U.S. false accusation against targeted countries, chances are quite strong that the U.S. or its allies have delivered sufficient quantities of chemical agents to the "rebels". Stockpiles of chemical agents could have been found by the "rebels" who had temporarily controlled several territories and army bases. Means of delivery are irrelevant as these gases can be released from simple containers in an easy way that does not require complicated equipment. Let's not forget that the "rebels" are being trained and led by highly skilled military and intelligence advisors from several countries.
Logically, Assad did not need to use chemical weapons, as his forces have been winning on the ground. However, the terrorists and foreign mercenaries, losing on the ground, had a strong motive to stage a provocation that would allow the U.S to step in and save their skin. Not to mention that the U.S. itself has been officially targeting Syria since September 2000 and looking for a pretext to use direct force.
The truth is so obviously visible that Ashton and all the EU foreign ministers should be fired for deliberately lying in order to get away with war crimes. These politicians don't represent their constituencies. Ordinary people everywhere want to live in peace. These politicians represent their unelected, neocon-zionist sponsors. The time has come to name these sponsors and properly charge them with conspiracy and corruption of the democratic system that result in crimes against peace and war crimes.
- gunshipdemocracy"Es ist leichter eine Lüge zu glauben, die man schon hundert mal gehört hat, als die Wahrheit, die man noch nie gehört hat."00:24, 08/09/2013so we now who is founding father of "independent media" rotfl
- BlizzardTrue nature of the war against Syria13:14, 08/09/2013It is very old practice in our every day's life as well as in a politics that when someone is facing a very nasty difficulties will do anything it can to avert attention from a real issue ta a fabricated one with a hope that fabricated one will consume all attention from the real issue. What could be a huge problem that is burdening Obama that much that he needs a cheaply fabricated issue to avert international eye from the real one. Well it is not necessary to be genius to understand that ongoing affair with NSA spying upon friends and foes alike is the real thorn in public's eye especially as they are working under the direct executive order and that means by Obama's order to do what they are doing.
That puts him into a very bad spotlight as all of a sudden it become clear that this guy is nothing better then a international thug who wants to implement Edgar Hoover's doctrine and method of spying upon everyone that is or might be of interest to USA. That of course is a criminal act and everyone who is committing it is considered as a untrustworthy criminal.
Obama knows very well that all what we know about NSA operations is just a tip of an iceberg and he is worried sick that he will ruin relations within NATO and other allays around the world. It is clear that no one wants to be spied upon and especially not by one you trust and you work with.
In the first instance Obama was playing down the importance of this revelations and tried to sweep it under the rag by saying that is only for your own security as we are trying to prevent terrorists from destroying your life. As the time passed by and more and more new evidence surfaced it become clearer that the scope of spying was not at all searching for terrorists but absolutely different reason.
For example in Germany they were collecting 500,000,000 transmissions over internet every month. They explained that it is blanket collecting data operation and that only few are dealt with immediately and the rest is deleted. Only new revelations obtained by the documents provided by Mr Snowden showed that this explanation is not holding a water.
On the first glance 500,000,000 it seams unimaginable large number, but when you go to the statistics than you realize that it is not that big at all. In Germany lives over 80 million people and there are well over a 120 million mobile phones in usage, and if every person is making only one call per day there would be more than 3 milliards of calls. On top of that we are sending more E-mails than just 1 per day and in Germany there is well more than 100 million computers in businesses and at home.
Let us make long story short. US is spying very selectively, they are spying only upon corporations of particular interest, public persons, politicians, business people and so one. Now we know that beside from industry they obtained data from hospitals, banks, insurance companies, social security, political and non political organizations and so on.
Basically they selected only those that they can profit from. From corporations they are following their business developments, stealing trade and business secrets thus giving massive advantage to American corporations by passing all relevant information which would help to American industry.
By collecting all personal data from the politicians and public people they know who is for and who against their politics and how to deal with any of them. By having bank details of all of these people they can do anything they want. They can use knowledge to blackmail people and to force them to work for them.
Basically they want by any means available to change and tailor the world according to their needs and measures.
This is Obama's biggest problem as all his dreams of being super dominant in the world without using military force which is always counterproductive, is about to crash if the public eye is not averted from NSA affair.
It is minor damage to USA if they attack Syria and draw condemnations from around the world as they will be always able to claim that they did it to protect civilians and so on. Even if there would be afterwords found evidence that he was wrong it would make far less impact than revelation of true nature of NSA spying upon friends and foe alike.
That is why I believe USA will attack Syria as they desperately need to draw as much as possible of attention from the NAS business.
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Russia has become very adept in playing the diplomatic game, in which victory depends on choosing the right associate or partner. But there are a growing number of claimants to this role in the new horizontal and interdependent world. Aside Syria and Iran, being still important, the new venues for the application of practical diplomacy may well be Ukraine, the East China Sea and Afghanistan.