BERLIN, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel has hailed the united European Union (EU) position on Syria as Germany agreed to sign a G20 statement calling for a "strong response" to alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria.
Germany agreed to sign the statement on Saturday, a day after opting not to do so at the G20 summit. Merkel explained the delay by saying in a statement on Saturday that Germany had wanted to establish a common EU position on Syria first.
Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle also said on Saturday that Germany changed its stance after EU nations struck a joint policy during a meeting of foreign ministers in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.
Stressing the importance of a Europe united in its position on the Syria issue, Merkel said the success in Vilnius shows how right it was for Germany to push first for a common European position.
The meeting in Vilnius urged "a clear and strong response" to the alleged chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government, saying there was strong evidence that the Syrian government is responsible. The Syrian president has denied the allegations earlier in the month.
But the statement stopped short of endorsing a military strike, calling for a political solution in the war-torn country.
Germany has ruled out joining any military strike against Syria. Guido Westerwelle told local media earlier that any German participation in the military operation had "neither been asked nor is it being considered."