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Hollande announces France will wait for UN report on chemical weapons in Syria
French President François Hollande said he is waiting for the report by UN inspectors on the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
“We will wait for the report from inspectors while we wait for the US Congress [to make a decision]” said Hollande at the end of the two-day G20 meeting in St Petersburg, Russia.
His announcement comes amidst efforts by France and the US to garner support to prepare for military action in Syria following the use of chemical weapons that killed more than 1400 people.
He added that the UN report will only confirm if chemical weapons were indeed used, but not who used them. Both Paris and Washington maintain they have proof that chemical weapons were used by Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
The French president acknowledged that the G20 made evident the rift between the member states with regards to the use of chemical weapons in the Syria.
“The report by the UN inspectors should ideally be delivered as soon as possible, which would be much appreciated by everyone “added Hollande.
“The best case scenario would be if the UN Security Council played a role in condemning the use of chemical weapons given that the mission of inspectors is in fact a mission by the United Nations” said the French president. “If not, then a large coalition will need to form to put together all the countries who do not accept that one country, that one regime, can use chemical weapons”.
He assured everyone that France’s position was “compromised” by other European countries, which are largely against military action.
“Those who believe that we can find a political solution-- with a regime that massacres, that gasses-- through leaving things as they are, are allowing the situation to continue on throughout the region; something I refuse to see” underlined Hollande.