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The Latest: NATO chief: Strikes sent clear message to Syria

The Latest: NATO chief: Strikes sent clear message to Syria
The Associated Press

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on developments following the U.S.-led airstrikes on Syria (all times local):

12:50 p.m.

NATO’s secretary general says the weekend’s U.S.-led strikes will reduce the Syrian government’s capabilities of carrying out new chemical attacks.

Jens Stoltenberg also says the strikes by the United States, France and Britain were a “clear message” to Syrian President Bashar Assad, to Russia and Iran that the use of chemical weapons is not acceptable and that the allies would not stand by and watch.

Stoltenberg spoke in an interview with Turkey’s NTV television on Monday. The TV broadcast his comments with Turkish translations.

The NATO chief is Turkey for talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other officials.

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10:40 a.m.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says the bloc wants to use a major meeting on Syria next week to give impetus to U.N. peace moves following Western airstrikes on the country.

Mogerhini said on Monday “there is the need to give a push to the U.N.-led process.”

Speaking before chairing talks among EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg, she said that “people are suffering, people are dying, and I think the whole international community has to take responsibility for this.”

More than 70 delegations are expected to attend the April 24-25 Syria donor conference in Brussels.

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said: “We should keep on pushing for a solution through the U.N. Security Council. It’s the only way forward.”

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10:20 a.m.

Prime Minister Theresa May is set to face British lawmakers to explain her decision to launch airstrikes against Syria without a vote in Parliament.

Britain, the United States and France hit targets in Syria Saturday in response to a reported chemical attack in Douma.

Parliament returns Monday after a spring break, and was not consulted about the action. The government is not legally bound to seek Parliament’s approval for military strikes, though it is customary to do so.

May plans to tell lawmakers that the airstrikes were “in Britain’s national interest,” were carried out to stop further suffering from chemical weapons attacks and had broad international support.

The government says it will seek an emergency parliamentary debate on the airstrikes Monday, though that is unlikely to satisfy angry opposition lawmakers.

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