Germany: Syria Must Be Punished if Gas Use Confirmed

World | August 26, 2013, Monday // 17:20|  views

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The German government has indicated for the first time that it would back an international military response against Syria if its suspected deadly use of chemical weapons is confirmed.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said Monday that if UN inspectors confirm the use of chemical weapons, "it must be punished."

Seibert says the government has "very clear evidence that this was a chemical weapons attack."

He said he won't speculate on what kind of response might be needed but would not rule out the use of force.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement that if the attack is confirmed "Germany would be among those who consider consequences to be appropriate."

Speaking at a Berlin conference of German ambassadors he said the use of chemical weapons of mass destruction in Syria would be “a crime against civilisation”.

"If their use is confirmed, the world community would have to act,” he said.

“Then Germany would be among those who would support consequences. In this regard, we are in close communications with the United Nations and our allies."

He did not specify what the consequences would be, but the US, Britain and France have signaled a growing willingness to strike the regime militarily if the use of chemical weapons is confirmed.

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Tags: Steffen Seibert, Angela Merkel, Chancellor, government, German, US, Damascus, Syrian, UN, Syria, president, Bashar Al-Assad, United Nations, Russia, Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, Germany, Guido Westerwelle


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