US requests Hungarian support on Syria

History

From the United States embassy in Budapest on Friday came a request to the Hungarian government to join the US in condemning Syria’s government for the use of chemical weapons – chemical weapons which, as of Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry alleges contained sarin. The attack of August 21 by government-led forces on a local populace killed over 1,400 and seems to be serving as the precursor by aerial attack and possible occupation by US forces.

“We urge the Hungarian government to join us in condemning publicly the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons and in urging the international community to hold the regime accountable for this violation of a bedrock international norm,” read the US embassy statement in part.

Hungarian Foreign Ministry Press Chief Gábor Kaleta last Wednesday stated that “Hungary will wait for the United Nations chemical weapons experts’ [inquiry into the incident], continually consult with our allies and [decide on participation] in a possible military campaign”; at that time, Kaleta also mentioned that the subject will be discussed at the European Union Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania, on September 6-7. Kaleta essentially reiterated his previously-expressed stand to local media on Friday.

The foreign ministry released a statement after the chemical weapon attack in Syria, stating that Hungary “strongly condemns the attack.” 

The recent chemical attack … definitely represents a watershed [moment] in the Syrian conflict. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary welcomes the fact that UN chemical weapons inspectors – following an initial obstruction on the part of the Assad regime – have finally been allowed to investigate who was responsible for this terrible and unjustifiable action. … Hungary was among the first countries to sever ties with the Assad regime; the tragic developments of the Syrian conflict and the great number of civilian casualties have demonstrated that this was a well-founded decision.”

Hungarian diplomatic relations with the Syrian government were cut off late last year.

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