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China FM discusses Syria with France's Fabius

The Chinese minister urged a cautious attitude on a major issue which concerns war and peace

AFP , Friday 30 Aug 2013
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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi discussed the Syrian crisis with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius Friday and stressed the need to support UN inspectors investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons, state media reported.

Wang said it had yet to be established whether chemical weapons had been used and by whom, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The Chinese minister urged a cautious attitude on a major issue which concerns war and peace, it said.

Fabius said the UN inspectors needed to speed up their investigation and presented France's view that the international community should make the necessary response to the use of chemical weapons, Xinhua reported.

The team of UN experts has this week been investigating the chemical gas attacks that reportedly took place in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21, and that the Syrian opposition says killed hundreds.

French President Francois Hollande said Friday he remained committed to a firm response on Syria as Washington seeks to build an international coalition for possible military action.

"France wants firm and proportionate action against the Damascus regime," Hollande said in an interview with Le Monde newspaper.

His remarks gave a boost to US plans after British lawmakers rejected any involvement in military action against Syria.

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