NATO, UN chiefs call for response against Syria

28 August 2013

SHOTLIST:

BRUSSELS, 28 AUGUST, 2013

SOURCE: NATO

NO RESALE FOR NON EDITORIAL PURPOSES

SOUNDBITE 1 Anders Fogh Rasmussen (man) NATO Secretary General (English, 31 secs):

"Information available from a wide variety of sources points to the Syrian regime as responsible for the use of chemical weapons in these attacks. This is a clear breach of long-standing international norms and practice. Any use of such weapons is unacceptable and cannot go unanswered. Those responsible must be held accountable."

THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS, AUGUST 28, 2013

SOURCE: AFPTV

SOUNDBITE 2 Ban Ki-Moon (man), UN Secretary-General (English, 26 secs):

"The latest escalation has caused horrendous casualties. It has also raised the spectrum of chemical warfare. The use of chemical weapons by anyone, for any reasons, under any circumstances, would be an attrocious violation of international law. Any perpetrators should be brought to justice for their accountability."

- VAR of the Peace Palace in The Hague where the press conference of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon took place

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AFP TEXT STORY:

Syria-conflict-NATO,lead

Chemical arms use in Syria 'cannot go unanswered': NATO

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BRUSSELS, Brussels Capital Region, Aug 28, 2013 (AFP) - The use of chemical weapons in Syria "cannot go unanswered", NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Wednesday, adding that the 28-member military alliance will continue to consult on the issue.

"Information available from a wide variety of sources points to the Syrian regime as responsible for the use of chemical weapons in these attacks," Rasmussen said in a statement after a meeting of NATO ambassadors.

A diplomatic source said the regular ambassadors' meeting had discussed Syria in general terms and direct NATO involvement was "clearly not on the agenda."

Rasmussen, who has in the past insisted on the need for a political solution to the Syrian conflict, said NATO condemned "in the strongest possible terms" the August 21 attack in a Damascus suburb which left hundreds dead.

"The Syrian regime maintains custody of stockpiles of chemical weapons," he said.

"Information available from a wide variety of sources points to the Syrian regime as responsible for the use of chemical weapons in these attacks.

"Any use of such weapons is unacceptable and cannot go unanswered. Those responsible must be held accountable," Rasmussen said.

He said NATO would "continue to consult and keep the situation in Syria under close review" and continue to help member Turkey which shares a border with Syria.

Earlier this year, NATO, led by the United States deployed Patriot anti-missile batteries in Turkey after several border villages were hit by artillery fire from inside Syria.

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