UN Chemical Weapons Team Reaches Damascus Suburb
U.N. inspectors have reached a Damascus suburb to meet victims of suspected chemical weapon attacks, after the Syrian government accepted international demands to grant access to the team.
Syrian state television said Monday that troops escorted the inspectors to the southwestern suburb of Moadamiyeh, one of several rebel-held districts where the August 21st attacks happened.
Syrian opposition activists said the U.N. team visited a makeshift hospital in Moadamiyeh to speak with survivors of the attacks and take samples.
Rebels and the Syrian government have blamed each other for the killings of hundreds of civilians in the incidents.
Western powers say they believe forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were responsible. Leaders of the United States, Britain and France have been discussing what action to take in response, raising the prospect of Western military intervention in Syria's two-year conflict.
The foreign minister of Russia, a key Assad ally, said Western powers "cannot produce any evidence" that the Syrian government committed the alleged chemical attack.
Karzai, Sharif Discuss Peace Talks
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has met with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad to discuss how to push for direct talks between the Kabul government and Taliban insurgents.
President Karzai told reporters that he emphasized the need for enhancing joint efforts to counter extremism and promote peace and stability on both sides of their shared border.
Mr. Sharif says he reaffirmed Pakistan's "strong and sincere" support for the Afghan peace and reconciliation process. He said, however, that these efforts will have to be led by Afghans.
Monday's discussions also focused on increasing bilateral relations in areas such as trade, economy, energy and communications.
The two leaders also oversaw the signing of a comprehensive agreement by their finance ministers to speed up bilateral economic and development projects.