News Column

Merkel Refuses German Assistance for Airstrikes Against Syria

Aug 30, 2013

Germany will not take part in any military action against Syria, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday.

Berlin was urging Russia to join in UN Security Council condemnation of Syria's government for using chemical weapons, she said through her spokesman.

"We are not considering a military strike," said Steffen Seibert, the spokesman.

Germany had avoided saying this week whether or not it would support possible US airstrikes. The silence ended when Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told a newspaper, the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung, that military involvement was not on the table.

"Such involvement has neither been asked for, nor is it being considered," he said. His remarks were due for publication Saturday.

Seibert said Merkel phoned US President Barack Obama Thursday and urged that the Security Council be allowed to "exercise its responsibility" over the chemical weapons crisis.

"We hope the Security Council will develop a unanimous position," he said, adding in a reference to Russia and China, "We hope no one in the Security Council will shut their eyes to such a crime."

Source: Copyright Deutsche Presse-Agentur ??? Engl 2013

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