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Britain agrees with US on chemical weapons use in Syria

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-06-14 20:37

LONDON - Britain agrees with the United States' assessment of chemical weapons use in Syria and calls for co-ordinated response from the international community, Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Friday.

"We agree with the U.S. assessment that chemical weapons, including sarin, have been used in Syria by the Assad regime," Hague said.

"The United Kingdom has presented evidence of the use of chemical weapons in Syria to the UN investigation, and we have been working with our allies to get more and better information about the situation on the ground," he said.

The foreign secretary called for "a strong, determined and coordinated response from the international community" on Wednesday in Washington and warned that "We have to be prepared to do more" about Syria.

Hague said there will be further discussions about response with the United States, France and other countries, including at the G8 meeting this week.

The White House announced on Thursday that the United States will provide direct military aid to the Syrian opposition for the first time.

The British government is yet to decide whether it will follow the U.S. lead. Prime Minister David Cameron maintains the position that "no decision has been taken" on arming the Syrian opposition but "nothing is off the table."

But a spokesperson for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the BBC that he remained against "any further militarization" of the conflict in Syria, saying the people there need peace not more weapons.

The White House concluded in a statement Thursday that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against rebels, a major move that signals deeper U.S. involvement in the Syrian conflict.

Meanwhile, Syria's foreign ministry on Friday charged that the U.S. report of Syrian forces' use of chemical weapons against rebel fighters is "full of lies."

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