Page last updated at 16:05 GMT, Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Private notice question on Syria

Any use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government against its own people would be "abhorrent and universally condemned", Foreign Office Minister Baroness Warsi has said.

Lady Warsi told peers on 4 December 2012 that the UK government was working closely with its international partners to monitor developments "closely".

We will "revisit our approach to Syria" if chemical or biological weapons are deployed, she added.

Lady Warsi's comments came in response to a private notice question by Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean on the alleged movement of Syrian chemical weapons components in recent days.

Syria is believed to hold chemical weapons - including mustard gas and sarin, a highly toxic nerve agent - at dozens of sites around the country.

US President Barack Obama warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday that he will face "consequences" if he uses chemical weapons against his people.

Lady Warsi said the government shared President Obama's "deep concerns" and continued to urge the regime "not to use these weapons and ensure that they are secure".

A Syrian official has insisted it would "never, under any circumstances" use such weapons, "if such weapons exist".

Crossbench peer Lord Wright of Richmond said Syria was now involved in a "very dangerous civil war" and warned it would be "disastrous" for the UK to become "in any way, militarily involved".

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