German chancellor Angela Merkel said late Wednesday that despite diminishing expectations for a peaceful solution to the conflict in Syria, she would pursue efforts for a settlement at the G20 summit in St Petersburg, Russia, dpa reported.
"Even if there is nearly no hope," Merkel said at an event in Giessen, Germany, "one must always keep trying - at least that's how I see my role."
Her comments came as her defence secretary, Thomas de Maiziere, said it was clear that troops loyal to the government of Bashar al-Assad had used poisonous gas against civilians.
"There has been a series of highly plausible evidence that, in my opinion, allows for no more doubt," De Maiziere told the broadcaster MDR Info. "Everything that I hear indicates that it was an attack by the regime, and Mr Assad carries the responsibility for it."
De Maiziere said it was important to wait for the report from UN experts, so that the global public is informed "not only by western intelligence services, but also by UN inspectors who enjoy a high level of credibility."
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