Spain backs allies over Syria strategy

Spain backs allies over Syria strategy
Spain's Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo wants to see a stop to the use of chemical weapons in Syria but preferably without the use of military force. File photo: Miguel Rojo/AFP
Spain's foreign affairs minister has ruled out direct intervention in Syria for the time being but says the country would consider allowing the United States to use its military bases if asked to do so.

Spain's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation José Manuel García-Margallo on Tuesday defended Spain's decision to back the United States and other European nations in demanding a "response" to a recent Syrian government chemical weapons attack.

Speaking at an event organized by Spanish debate forum Nueva Economía Fórum, he said: "The doctrine outlined in (the G20 summit in) Saint Petersburg, and which the Spanish Government applauded, involved making sure chemical weapons were not used again under any circumstances."

"All actions designed to eliminate the possibility of using chemical weapons — if possible avoiding military intervention — are welcomed by the Spanish Government," Margallo said at the forum.

The Spanish foreign minister also referred to the possible use of Spanish bases by the United States. 

"There has been no petition regarding the use of (Spanish) bases," he said, saying the issue would be discussed if the US made such a request.

On Tuesday, France said it would draw up a United Nations Security Council resolution based on a Russian proposal to avoid a US strike against Syria by having the Middle Eastern country hand over control of its chemical weapons arsenal.  

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