Foreign ministers of Arab League (AL) attend a meeting at the AL headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, Sept. 1, 2013. The Arab foreign ministers hold the Syrian government responsible for all the chemical attacks in the Syrian capital of Damascus, and asked for referring the perpetrators to international trials, Xinhua reported from the AL headquarters. (Xinhua/Amru Salahuddien)
CAIRO, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Arab foreign ministers on Sunday urged the international community and the United Nations to take action against the Syrian government over alleged chemical attacks that killed hundreds of civilians.
The final resolution of an Arab League (AL) meeting in Cairo urged the United Nations and the international community to assume their responsibilities in line with the UN charter and the international law by "taking deterrent and necessary measures against the Syrian regime."
The Arab foreign ministers held the Syrian government responsible for all the alleged chemical attacks in the Syrian capital of Damascus, and demanded the perpetrators be brought to fair international trials.
Damasucs, however, has vehemently rejected the claim and accused "terrorists" of using chemical weapons on innocent civilians to obtain support from Western countries and to cover their defeats.
In the AL resolution, the foreign ministers strongly condemned and denounced the "heinous crime" committed by using the chemical weapons banned internationally against unarmed civilians, in defiance of the international norms.
The Arab foreign ministers said those responsible for unleashing the poison gas in Syria must be tried before an international court "like other war criminals."
They also called for "all forms of support needed by the Syrian people."
Saudi Arabia called on the world community to take all necessary steps to deter Syrian government violence.
"The time has come to call on the world community to bear its responsibility and take the deterrent measure that puts a halt to the tragedy," Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal told the AL meeting.
It is time for the international community to do everything it could do to prevent aggression against the Syrian people," he said.
"We stand by the will of the Syrian people, as they know best their interests, so whatever they accept, we accept, and whatever they refuse, we refuse," Faisal said at a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Nabil Fahmy before the meeting.
But there were other Arab nations which voiced reservations over or opposition to possible military intervention in Syria.
Algeria rejected any military intervention and called for political negotiations, Algerian Foreign Minister Murad Madlisi said.
"The military intervention's expenses and implications over the whole region will be severe," Madlisi said at the meeting.
Lebanon expressed reservation over all items of the resolution, while Iraq and Algeria abstained from voting over item four, which called on the international community to shoulder responsibility and end "crimes of the Syrian regime."
Nevertheless, both condemned using chemical weapons against unarmed civilians, and called for holding the perpetrators accountable based on the report of the UN inspectors.
Following the meeting, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told Xinhua that "Iraq wasn't neutral during the AL's meeting, but it also stuck to a peaceful solution."
"Iraq experienced the same sad accidents, and the use of the chemical weapons by the Saddam Hussein regime," said Zebari, adding Iraq also expressed reservations over any military strike against Syria without international consensus.
The pan-Arab organization's meeting came a day after U.S. President Barack Obama said he would seek congressional approval to launch a punitive strike against Syria over last month's chemical attacks in the suburbs of the Syrian capital.
In response to threats of military intervention from the West and the United States in particular, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Sunday that his country is capable of confronting any external aggression.
The U.S. administration released an intelligence report concluding that Assad's government used chemical weapons in the Aug. 21 bloodshed, which Damascus immediately denied and accused Washington of seeking to frame Syria to justify a military action.
BEIJING, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama was awaiting a Congress vote on a draft resolution that asks for the authorization of a strike against Syria, while Damascus vowed to face down any external aggression just as internal ones it faced daily.
The draft resolution, to be debated and voted on in Congress when U.S. lawmakers return to session on Sept. 9 after a summer break, states that the objective of military strikes on Syria should be to "deter, disrupt, prevent and degrade the potential" for future use of chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction. Full story
DAMASCUS, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Sunday that his country is capable of confronting any external aggression, in reference to a possible U.S.-led strike against his country, as Iran, his staunchest ally, pledged constant support to Damascus in face of escalating pressures.
Assad made the remarks during his meeting with visiting Chairman of the Iranian Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who arrived in Syria on Saturday. Full story
WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Congress is splitting on whether to give green light to Obama administration for launching a limited military strike on Syria, to punish Damascus for an alleged chemical attack that killed hundreds of people.
President Barack Obama on Saturday announced that though he has decided to take military action against Syrian government targets, he would seek Congress's authorization first as demanded by some lawmakers. He stated the military operation will be "limited in duration and scope" and will not involve "boots on the ground." Full story