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EU seeks common line on Syria

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EU seeks common line on Syria

EU seeks common line on Syria
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EU Foreign Ministers are meeting in Luxembourg seeking to establish a common line on the Syrian conflict.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson re-iterated his belief that the weekend's strikes on Syria were needed: "I'm afraid the Syrian war in many ways will go on in its horrible, miserable way. But it was the world saying that we've had enough of the use of chemical weapons. The erosion of that taboo that has been in place for a 100 years has gone too far under Bashar al-Assad and it was time that we said no".

But with Italy and others warning of the dangers of conflict escalation, EU Foreign Affairs representative Federica Mogherini focussed on the need for a diplomatic solution.

"It seems to me very clear that there is the need to give a push for the relaunch of the UN-led political process in this moment," she said "We clearly call on, in particular Russia and Iran to exercise their influence on Damascus to start serious and meaningful discussions under UN auspices".

Germany is among those who see a united EU front putting pressure on Russia as the best way of influencing Syrian actions; but in previous conflicts others have been more reticent about confronting Moscow - and it remains to be seen whether a common position can be found.