Germany can’t look away if Syria uses chemical weapons

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a session at the lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, September 12, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 12 September 2018
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Germany can’t look away if Syria uses chemical weapons

  • The conservative leader said it could not be Germany’s answer to reject military intervention

BERLIN: Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday Germany could not simply look away if chemical attacks took place in Syria, two days after her government said it was in talks with its allies about a possible military deployment in the war-torn country.
The conservative leader said it could not be Germany’s answer to reject military intervention, a direct rebuke of her Social Democratic coalition partners, who have rejected participation in military action against Syria.
“It cannot be the German position to simply say ‘no’, no matter what happens in the world,” she told the Bundestag lower house of parliament.
Germany, the world’s fourth largest economy, is under pressure from the United States to boost military spending and shoulder more responsibility within NATO. It did not participate in military strikes carried out by US, French and British forces on Syria in April after a chemical weapons attack.
But Merkel and her conservatives must win over the more pacifist Social Democrats (SPD), junior partners in the ruling coalition, and overcome massive public opposition to Germany’s participation in military combat missions.
SPD leader Andrea Nahles on Wednesday told lawmakers her party would not agree to military intervention in Syria unless the United Nations authorized such action.


Egypt court upholds corruption conviction of Mubarak, sons

Updated 4 min 56 sec ago
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Egypt court upholds corruption conviction of Mubarak, sons

CAIRO: Egypt’s highest appeals court has rejected a motion by former president Hosni Mubarak and his two sons to overturn their conviction on corruption charges.
Saturday’s ruling by the Court of Cessation, Egypt’s final recourse for appeals in criminal cases, dashed any hope that Gamal, Mubarak’s younger son and one-time heir apparent, could run for public office.
The trio was sentenced to three years each for embezzling funds meant for maintenance of presidential palaces but which they spent on upgrading or building private residences. The sons were released in 2015 for time served, while their father was freed last year.
Mubarak’s two sons are currently on trial for insider trading. They are free on bail after a judge on Thursday overturned a surprise Sept. 15 ruling to detain them.