Germany calls on Russia to use U.N. for Syrian reaction

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 29, 2013 9:32 AM

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call on Thursday to use the United Nations Security Council to get a quick, international reaction to Syria's conflict, her spokesman said in a statement.

"The chancellor called on the Russian president to use negotiations in the U.N. Security Council for a quick, unanimous international reaction," the statement said, adding that both leaders agreed the conflict can be solved politically.

Less than four weeks before an election in which Merkel hopes to win a third term, she faces a balancing act in how to respond to a chemical weapons attack in Syria, as German voters overwhelmingly oppose military action there.

Moscow, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is seen as certain to veto any call for intervention in the U.N. Security Council.

(Reporting by Annika Breidthardt and Sarah Marsh)