Merkel: Germany must respond to chemical weapon use

German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggests that Germany must be prepared to respond if chemical weapons are used in war zones, remarks that come amid a debate over possible military involvement in the Syrian conflict.

Merkel tells lawmakers: “To simply say we can look away if somewhere chemical weapons are being used and international conventions are not kept, that can’t be the answer.”

Germans are widely against the country’s participation in combat missions and Merkel does not elaborate. Her junior coalition partners, the Social Democrats, have strongly rejected getting involved in the war in Syria and the party’s leader made clear Wednesday that it wouldn’t agree to any intervention without UN authorization.

“Only the Security Council or the UN General Assembly can empower the international community to take military action,” Andrea Nahles tells lawmakers. “As long as this does not happen, we Social Democrats cannot vote for any intervention by force in Syria.”

German military deployments abroad require parliamentary approval.

— AP

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