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Britain urges Russia to put more pressure on Syria over chemical weapons

March 15, 2014 at 3:43 pm

British Foreign Secretary William Hague has called on Moscow to put more pressure on the Syrian regime in order to accelerate the destruction of its chemical weapons. The appeal was made during a joint press conference with Hague’s German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The foreign secretary took the opportunity to condemn the ongoing killing of Syrian civilians. “I deplore the reported killing of over 80 people in Aleppo this weekend by the regime, which dropped barrel bombs on the civilian population,” he said. Hague also condemned the “deliberate starvation of civilians in Homs and other besieged areas”, calling it “grotesque and utterly unacceptable.”

Meanwhile, Steinmeier hailed the fact that delegations representing the Syrian regime and opposition groups have sat down to negotiate in Geneva. He described this as a “positive development.”

Although the German minister noted that no breakthrough has been achieved in the talks, he hoped that something would happen in the coming days. “The agreement of both parties to resume talks on February 10 is hopeful,” said Steinmeier.