Bildt pleased EU agrees to await UN report
European foreign ministers agreed on Saturday that the chemical attack outside Damascus in Syria on the 21st of August "appears to have been the work of Syria's regime", the news agency AP reports. They called for "a clear and strong response", but urged that a potential military attack against the regime should wait for a UN inspectors report.
Sweden's foreign minister Carl Bildt is pleased with what he sees as "an ever stronger consensus that you have to listen to the UN inspectors". He tells Swedish Radio News that it is essential that the report gets to the UN security council and discussed there before any military action. "It is important for the international legitimacy, whatever comes after," says Bildt.
The 28 EU foreign ministers held talks with their American counterpart John Kerry in the lithuanian capital Vilnius. Ahead of the meeting France and Denmark were the only European countries who had expressed their support of a military retaliation against the Syrian regime.
Carl Bildt told Swedish Radio News that the European countries are standing closer together on this issue, after the meeting. The foreign ministers decided to welcome France's president Hollande's decision to await the release of the UN investigation before taking action against Syria.
According to Bildt, it is important not to forget what will happen after a possible military attack against Syria.
"Regardless of the terrible that have happened now, and the necessity to react against the use of chemical weapons - there is not doubt about that - the big task is to end the war as a whole. 110,000 people have been killed," he says.
"There is a risk that what is going to happen in the next period, rather will intensify the fighting and in the short run increase the suffering. Then we have to think about strategies to intensify also the political efforts. And then we are back to some of the fundamental problems that we have had with the security council and the UN. But we will not get around it, and we have to deal with it if we are going to end the war as a whole," Bildt told Swedish Radio News reporter in Vilnius.