Putin says not all G8 leaders agree Assad used chemical weapons

ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said there is no proof that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, adding that some of the G8 countries share this view.

“We do not have any facts of the use of such weapons by the Syrian government. I assure you, that by no means all the G8 members believe that they were used,” Putin said during the two-day G8 summit at a remote lakeside golf resort in Northern Ireland.

Putin stressed he “never felt isolated” at the summit despite the difference in views, and said the G8 leaders have been seeking a common solution to the Syrian conflict.

The Russian President warned supplying arms to the rebels based on unconfirmed reports that chemical weapons were used by the Assad government would further destabilize Syria.

Putin urged Western nations not to be hasty in arming the Syrian opposition, saying that such weapons could fall into the wrong hands, or be uncontrollable.

“I call on all our partners to think twice before making such steps. It is a very dangerous stuff,” the Russian president said, pointing to the “horrible” and “tragic” Woolwich murder.

There are “loads of such criminals fighting for the [Syrian] opposition, who could commit a brutal murder like this,” he stressed.

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