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French Foreign Minister: No decision yet on use of force against Syria

August 26, 2013, 14:55 UTC+3

Laurent Fabius: “It is obvious now that a chemical attack did take place. We and our other partners have evidence proving that"

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PARIS, August 26 (Itar-Tass) - Leading Western powers will coordinate within the next few days their joint response to latest developments in Syria, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told Europe 1 radio on Monday, referring to the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria. He said a decision to launch a military operation against Syria had not been taken yet.

“It is obvious now that a chemical attack did take place. We and our other partners have evidence proving that. It is also obvious that this attack has a source, and this is the regime of Bashar al-Assad,” the foreign minister said.

“It is now necessary to proportion the reaction, to take a balanced approach, but at the same time act resolutely and in cold blood. This will be determined within the next few days,” he added.

Fabius gave reporters no direct answer about whether France would participate in a possible “anti-Assad coalition,” but said he believed “a powerful response” to what had happened in Syria was needed. “All options are being looked into. The only option that I don’t consider is doing nothing,” he said.

The diplomat also refused to speculate on possible French participation in the event of military operations against Damascus. “I will not go deep into the answers now. There was a chemical attack, and this has been established, and there is the responsibility of Mr Bashar al-Assad. A reaction is needed,” he noted.

He said France did not see it possible to discuss any political future for Bashar al-Assad. “At the same time, even if it may sound unexpected now, it will be necessary to find a political solution for Syria,” he added.

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