More than half of Germans oppose military action in Syria: poll

More than half of Germans oppose military action in Syria: poll
# 29 August 2013 18:53 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. More than half of German people oppose military action by the western countries in Syria, a latest opinion poll showed on Thursday, while the German government said an international response to the alleged chemical attacks was inevitable, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said the gas attack is a turning point in the internal conflict, adding that "the Syrian government cannot hope to continue this kind of illegal warfare and go unpunished."

However, a poll for ZDF public television said 58 percent of the respondents oppose a military response, while 33 percent said they would support it.

Meanwhile, 41 percent said Germany should contribute financially and with equipment if there is a military action, but 55 percent disagreed.

On Thursday, Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed over a phone conversation on the need for the UN Security Council to study a report by UN experts on the alleged chemical attack.

Seibert said the two leaders agreed that the "conflict can only be resolved politically", adding that Merkel hopes for a quick conclusion to the UN inspection mission and a comprehensive report for the UN Security Council.

Merkel also spoke over phone with French President Francois Hollande on Thursday and agreed to keep close contact with all European partners to forge an alternative to end the deadly conflict in Syria.

Merkel's spokesman said she and British Prime Minister David Cameron, in their phone conversation on Wednesday night, agreed that there is sufficient evidence of Syria's chemical weapons use and an international reaction is essential.

Merkel has been stressing that she hopes to see a comprehensive political solution to the conflict. She told Mittelbayerische Zeitung daily on Wednesday that she hopes the German people will welcome the Syrian refugees who flee the civil war.

Germany has agreed to accept a total of 13,000 Syrian refugees, local media reported.

The Syrian civil war, which began in March 2011 between government forces and armed opposition seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad, has killed more than 93,000 people and forced over 1.7 million people to flee the country.

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