• France's news in English
 

France to await UN report before any Syria strikes

AFP/The Local · 6 Sep 2013, 18:09

Published: 06 Sep 2013 18:09 GMT+02:00

France will wait for UN inspectors to issue their report on a probe into a chemical weapons attack in Syria before launching any military action against the Damascus regime, French President Francois Hollande said on Friday.

"Are we going to wait for the inspectors' report? Yes, we are going to wait for the inspectors' report as we are going to wait for the US Congress vote" on the proposed strikes, he said after the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg.

Earlier President Barack Obama on Friday said the United States valued France's support for military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime for allegedly using chemical weapons against its own people.

"I value very much President Hollande's commitment to a strong international response for these grievous acts," he said, adding that "any action that we contemplate... would be limited and would be focused on deterring the use of chemical weapons in the future and degrade the Assad regime's capacity to use chemical weapons."

Obama was speaking at the G20 summit in St Petersburg, which has been marked by tensions between the various powers over to react to the Syria crisis.

Earlier in the day France said it wants the European Union to unanimously condemn a chemical weapons attack near Damascus and agree it was carried out by the Syrian regime, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Friday before meeting his European counterparts.

He told AFP that at the meeting in Lithuanian capital Vilnius, ministers of the 28-nation bloc should at least secure an agreement that "condemns the usage of chemical weapons and (which) notes that the proof that we have been given shows that it was the regime of Bashar al-Assad which was behind the massacre".

On Thursday night World powers failed to bridge deep divisions on Syria at a summit dinner as they squared off over the US push for military strikes against the Damascus regime.

As tensions over the Syrian conflict threatened to torpedo the working schedule of the G20 summit outside Saint Petersburg, host Vladimir Putin invited participants to air their views over dinner.

The leaders took turns over three hours to reiterate their positions on the issue in 10-minute speeches, a diplomatic source close to the talks told AFP.

"The G20 has just now finished the dinner session at which the divisions about Syria were confirmed," Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, who attended the dinner, said on his official Twitter feed.

Story continues below…

Russia has led opposition to any US-led military action against Assad's regime over an August 21 chemical weapons attack outside Damascus, which Washington says was perpetrated by Damascus.

In New York, the US envoy to the United Nations accused Russia of holding the UN Security Council hostage.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said London had fresh evidence of chemical weapons use.

The UN announced that its special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi would attend meetings at the two-day summit to push for peace talks.

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Woman in coma as storm blows over billboard in Paris
Two people were left injured after this sign blew over in Paris. Photo: Photo Brigade des sapeurs pompiers de Paris

Woman in coma as storm blows over billboard in Paris
4 hours ago

UPDATED: A woman was left in a coma and another injured when they were hit by an advertising hoarding as gale force winds high waves battered parts of France on Monday.

Would France force UK to move border back home?
British border police in Calais. Photo: AFP

Would France force UK to move border back home?
6 hours ago

British PM David Cameron fears Calais-like migrant camps being set up in the UK if France decides to shift border checks back across the Channel in the light of a Brexit. But is Paris likely to do it?

Oui oui: Why Paris needs paint to stop the street pee-ers
Photo: IG St Pauli/YouTube Screenshot

Oui oui: Why Paris needs paint to stop the street pee-ers
7 hours ago

Paris has long struggled to solve the so-called problem "wild peeing", otherwise known as street p**sing, but could a special paint provide the solution?

French food
The great Gallic grub that's surprisingly healthy
Photo: Hafiz Issadeen/Flickr

The great Gallic grub that's surprisingly healthy
8 hours ago

This list will make all lovers of French cuisine feel immediately less guilty and more healthy.

France could make Airbnb tell tax man about hosts' earnings
Photo: AFP

France could make Airbnb tell tax man about hosts' earnings
9 hours ago

France could force companies like Airbnb and BlaBlaCar to inform the tax man of how much their users are earning through the sites.

Isis makes far-right National Front demos its 'prime target'
Supporters of France's far-right National Front (FN) wave French flags during a May Day rally in Paris on May 1st, 2014. Photo: AFP

Isis makes far-right National Front demos its 'prime target'
11 hours ago

For the first time Isis has threatened to target public demos by France's anti-immigration National.

Ex-French army commander faces jail over anti-Islam rally
General Christian Piquemal, with the megaphone, right. Photo: AFP

Ex-French army commander faces jail over anti-Islam rally
13 hours ago

The former head of the French Foreign Legion is facing a possible sentence of a year behind bars after leading a banned anti-Islam rally in Calais.

French Riviera towns now open for Sunday shopping
Photo: AFP

French Riviera towns now open for Sunday shopping
13 hours ago

Shopaholics on the French Riviera will be able to satisfy their urges seven days a week from now on.

French ex-budget minister goes on trial for tax fraud
Jérôme Cahuzac. Photo: AFP

French ex-budget minister goes on trial for tax fraud
14 hours ago

Remember Jerôme Cahuzac? The former French minister tasked with cracking down on tax cheats goes on trial on Monday for allegedly hiding hundreds of thousands of euros from the French tax man.

France's Peugeot gifts €427m in perks to Iran carmaker
Peugeot cars being driven in Tehran. Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP

France's Peugeot gifts €427m in perks to Iran carmaker
1 day ago

French carmaker Peugeot is to provide Iran Khodro with €427 million in debt waivers, bonuses and discounts under their first post-sanctions deal, the Iranian manufacturer said Sunday.

Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
Public warned as gale force winds and giant waves lash the French coastline
Lifestyle
So where do all the Americans live in France and where do they avoid?
Lifestyle
How Paris plans to become a 'model' of cleanliness - that's not a joke
Only in France - Pig's entrails, cheese and steak sold in vending machines
Travel
Wait... that's not snow! Check out France's most unique ski slope
Culture
Don't panic, France isn't bidding a final adieu to the circumflex
Culture
VIDEO: UK group performs Shakespeare for Calais refugees
National
France cuts more red tape: E.G. No license needed to collect horse's sperm
Gallery
How France could really simplify the French language (for us learners)
Culture
Say good bye to 'oignon': How 2,400 French words will get new spellings
Sport
US calls on French help to prevent 'Paris-style' attack at Super Bowl
Culture
Betty Blue star Béatrice Dalle says she ate a dead man's ear (while on acid)
Analysis & Opinion
It's no surprise the French are losing faith in Hollande's war on terror
Culture
What's on: Here are 10 great things to do in France in February
Culture
The 300-metre monument Paris could have had instead of the Eiffel Tower
How a drunken stunt with a mattress on an Alps ski slope ended in tragedy
Culture
Chandeleur - The day the French get superstitious
Culture
Did fear of losing success drive top French chef to commit suicide?
See what changes in France from February 1st
Culture
'S**t! B**lox!'- Ramsay sees Versailles restaurant lose star
Lifestyle
Le Chandeleur: Why do the French eat crêpes on February 2nd?
Culture
Mad Max director to head Cannes Film Festival jury
National
'And what if your daughter married a Muslim?' - Survey shocks France
3,512
jobs available