WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday conversed with his French counterpart Francois Hollande over the phone to discuss possible coordinated response to the alleged chemical weapons use by Syrian government, the White House said.
"The two leaders expressed their grave concern about the reported use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime against civilians near Damascus on Wednesday, August 21," the White House said in a statement.
"President Obama and President Hollande discussed possible responses by the international community and agreed to continue to consult closely," said the statement, without disclosing further details.
The call is part of the Obama administration's ongoing efforts to rally international support for a possible military response to the Syrian government, amid rising political pressure both at home and abroad.
Obama on Saturday called British Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss "the shared security challenges" faced by the two close allies, including the continued violence in Syria.
They expressed their "grave concern" about the reported chemical attack by the Syrian government troops and agreed to continue to consult closely regarding this incident, as well as possible responses by the international community to the use of chemical weapons, according to a White House statement Saturday.
In Paris, the French President's Office issued a statement Sunday, saying the French leader told Obama that everything indicates that the Syrian government was "the perpetrator of these unacceptable attacks."
The two leaders agreed to stay in close contact so to produce a joint response to "this unprecedented aggression," the statement added.
France and the United Kingdom, both permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, have been the lead supporters of a series of U.S.-led military operations overseas in recent years, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the 2011 NATO bombing of Libya.
Amid reports that the Obama administration is considering possible military intervention in Syria, the U.S. Navy has sent a fourth warship armed with cruise missiles into the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Also on Saturday, Obama convened a meeting of his national security team to assess the latest intelligence concerning the alleged chemical attack in Syria, and discuss the options of possible U.S. and international responses.
White House officials said the U.S. has a range of options available, ranging from a cruise missile strike to a more sustained air campaign against Syria, and will act "very deliberately" so to make decisions consistent with the U.S. national interests and assessment on how to advance its objectives in Syria.
In Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich on Sunday warned Western countries against rushing to conclusion on the chemical weapons use in Syria pending the investigation by a UN inspection team.
Welcoming Syria's decision to allow UN experts to examine the site of the alleged chemical attack in eastern suburbs of Damascus, the Syrian capital, Lukashevich urged the international community to show patience and wait for the results of the UN investigation.