Kerry says Saudis favorable to Syria military response

Sept. 8, 2013 at 11:54 AM
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PARIS, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Saudi Arabia agreed Sunday to back an international military response to Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons.

Kerry met with the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and Egypt in Paris to urge their support for military action in Syria.

Kerry told reporters at an Arab League meeting the Saudis had specifically agreed to support a "strike" against the Syrian regime, which President Obama says was response for the Aug. 21 chemical attack that killed about 1,400 civilians in a Damascus suburb, The New York Times reported.

Kerry made the statement at a news conference with the foreign minister of Qatar, Khalid Al Attiya, who said the international allies of the Syrian government were actively supporting President Bashar Assad in the rebellion that began with massive anti-government protests in 2011

Attiya called on "all countries to intervene to protect the Syrian people."

NBC News said the United States had not expected an endorsement from either the Saudis or the Egyptians, but wanted to assure Syria's neighbors their diplomatic ties to Washington would not be affected by the crisis.

Kerry remained primarily focused on drumming up support in Europe for a retaliatory operation. The European Union and France currently insist everyone wait for the United Nations to release its findings on the gas attack before making any decisions on military action against the Assad regime.

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