France urges EU to be united on Syria

Associated Press
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France's Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Laurent Fabius speaks to reporters during the Informal Meeting of EU Ministers for Foreign Affairs at the National Gallery of Art in Vilnius, Lithuania, Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — France says the European Union should not wait for the report by U.N. inspectors on the use of chemical weapons in Syria and accept its argument that the regime of President Bashar Assad is responsible for the Aug. 21 attack outside Damascus.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Lithuania on Friday that the U.N. inspectors were not asked to apportion blame and can only confirm if such an attack took place, "a question to which everybody already knows the answer."

France has said its military is preparing for a possible military attack in Syria, and it is the only member of the bloc that has openly supported President Barack Obama's call to punish Assad that way, without a U.N. agreement if necessary.