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Fabius: 'No need' for military pledge from all Europeans against Syria

January 30, 2014 at 11:31 am

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced on Sunday that Paris and Washington do not need a military commitment from every European country to intervene in Syria; but they do welcome the 28 EU member states to pledge political support.

Fabius told television channel France 3, “We do not need financial and military pledges from all countries. Most of these countries do not have the means to do so. It is political support” that we seek.

On Saturday, EU foreign ministers gathered in Vilnius and called for “a clear and strong response” to last month’s chemical attack in Syria, asserting there is “strong evidence” that the Syrian regime is responsible for the attack.

Fabius explained that, “things moved by the end of the week. Whenever we clarified the situation, things moved.”

He added that, “When I and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry explained the facts, the 28 EU member states did not say we do not want a military intervention. On the contrary, they said in-depth that we support your analysis.” Kerry, who is currently in Paris, explained on Saturday during a joint press conference with his French counterpart that, “a number of countries are ready for military action against Syria.”

Meanwhile a poll by the Institut Français d’Opinion Publique (IFOP) revealed that more than two-thirds of the French population (68 per cent) oppose their country’s participation in a US-led military strike against the regime in Damascus.

Fabius explained: “There are three reasons for their doubts and we must respond to all of them. Yes a chemical attack took place and yes Assad’s regime is responsible for it and yes we are concerned because a large number of French nationals are in the region, and if we allow the spread of terrorism and the use of chemical weapons, we will all be endangered”.

Fabius concluded that, “If we want a political solution, there must be punishment and deterrence to the Assad regime.”