UN must back Syria action after verifying facts on chemical gas attack, says PM
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Opposing unilateral military strikes against Syria, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has stressed that any action against Damascus should be authorised by the UN and should come after all facts relating to the alleged use of chemical weapons are ascertained.
New Delhi also prefers a political solution to the crisis and wants the UN to first confirm whether chemical weapons were indeed used on civilians.
"We would like the Geneva II process to start and all parties to come to the table," Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh told reporters at the end of the two-day G-20 summit. The region was already troubled and it was not advisable to aggravate the situation, she added.
Although the Syria crisis was not discussed during formal sessions of the summit, it dominated discussions when the leaders met for dinner Thursday, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia earlier told reporters.
India believes it is important to be certain of all facts relating to the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria, keeping in mind past experiences and that any action taken should be under the auspices of the UN, Ahluwalia said.
The PM was also of the view that action should not be aimed at a regime change in that country, he added.
An AP report said Syria dominated the nearly three-hour meal, with leaders condemning the use of chemical weapons but reaching no consensus about the proper response. Many leaders at the dinner remained in doubt about whether Assad's regime was behind the attack.
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