Syria Used Chemical Weapons 14 Times Since October, French Minister Says

May 13, 2014 4:29pm
GTY Laurent Fabius mar 140513 16x9 608 Syria Used Chemical Weapons 14 Times Since October, French Minister Says

French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Laurent Fabius addresses the audience May 13, 2014 at The Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images.

Just after meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said his country regretted the United States’ decision not to strike Syrian chemical weapons facilities last year.

“We regret it because we think it would have changed lots of things … but what is done is done, and we’re not going to rewrite history,” Fabius said at a press conference at the French embassy.

Fabius added that Syria had used chemical weapons against civilians at least 14 times since October 2013. Later,  State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said that claim was not shared with Kerry during the meeting.

Less than an hour before his press conference, Fabius stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Kerry before cameras, listing all the issues on which the two nations agreed.

“We are working very closely together. And we speak either French or English, but the most important point, whatever language, is to agree,” he said.

Psaki also defended President Obama’s decision not to strike Syria, saying there had been broad support among the international community for the UN Security Council-approved plan in which Syria would avoid military force by getting rid of all of its chemical weapons.

But Syria has not yet given up all of its chemical weapons and according to Fabius, is still using them.

Psaki also denied that Fabius’ remarks Tuesday meant the international community’s support for the United States’ Syria policy was waning.

“I would suggest you ask the French if that’s what they were conveying through his comments,” she said.

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